To Render a Life (1993)

Genres - History  |   Run Time - 88 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Anyone who has imagined that poverty is a "solved" problem of minor importance will get an eye-opener in this documentary, which follows a plucky but desperately poor family in rural Virginia. Though the husband works, he earns below minimum wage, and his job is not full-time. The wife laboriously grows food on their small family farm to stretch his earnings, despite the fact that poor health (a cancer diagnosis) drove her from her paying job. The rules for welfare assistance are such that this family does not qualify, and they have completely fallen through the cracks in the relatively generous "social safety net" that existed before the so-called "welfare reform" measures of the late 1990s were passed.

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Keywords

accident, affection, burn, car, couple, daughter, depression, disintegration, employment, estate, family, farming, health, heat, house, instinct, land, machine, maternal, road, rurality, stream, Summer, tenant, tool, toy, water