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Waging a Living (2005)

Edward Rosenstein , Frances Reid  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Waging a Living + ABC News Nightline America's Working Poor + A Place at the Table
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Product Details

  • Directors: Edward Rosenstein, Frances Reid, Pamela Harris, Roger Weisberg
  • Producers: Edward Rosenstein, Frances Reid, Pamela Harris, Roger Weisberg, Deborah Clancy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: September 26, 2006
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GG4Y0K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,058 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Waging a Living" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Bonus film "Roosevelt's America"
  • Filmmaker interview
  • Filmmaker biography

Editorial Reviews

Tender and eye-opening, WAGING A LIVING takes an unwavering look at America’s working poor--people who work hard and play by the rules but never seem to get ahead. Over three years, the film follows four hard-working individuals as they strive for their piece of the American Dream but find only low wages, dead end jobs, and a tattered safety net in their way. As they raise children, try to get a college degree, and take care of sick relatives, these working class heroes make you root for them to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Mixing stunning facts about poverty and social injustice with the personal testimony of real-life workers, two-time Academy Award-nominated director Roger Weisberg cuts through the fog of politics and prejudice to bring the disturbing reality of the working poor into the light of day. "A film with immense compassion and riveting drama" (San Francisco Weekly), WAGING A LIVING will anger, inspire, and rouse the soul. DVD Features: Bonus Film "Rosevelt’s America"; Filmmaker Interview; Filmmaker Biography; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EDUCATIONAL TOOL THAT IS ENTERTAINING October 6, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film brings the reality of how the working poor fare in the United States. I teach in a public high school and use this DVD to point out the importance of completing some type of post-high school education.

The film clearly reflects the strain placed on an individual with children who has not attained an educational degree that will earn higher salaries. At times it is a painful film to watch because of the constant setbacks and roadblocks the four individuals face but it has some lighter moments and one success story. The fact that one of the four was able to escape poverty points out how difficult it is to attain the bottom rung of middle class, when saddled with children and no education.

It would be interesting to see an up-date of the four individuals and see how they are doing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting View January 6, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
What is a living wage? Trying to pull yourself up from under or finding yourself going under is what this video is about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and educational documentary! August 24, 2011
"Waging a living" does a great job of showing the realities for America's working poor and the constant struggle for survival they battle. I commend the filmmakers for shining a light on a group of people that are often forgotten in our society. I highly recommend watching it.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Working Poor July 18, 2007
Conservatives promote that mess about "Work hard and all your economic problems will disappear!" This documentary focuses on four individuals who are working poor. They put in an honest day's work and spend money on their families, but still have problems making ends meet. This work exemplified how low-income people "take two steps forward and one step back." It was a struggle to watch this as life seems so unfair for this group.

It spoke of how many families are headed toward poverty because non-custodial fathers are not paying child support. It showed how a salary raise can lead to chopped governmental benefits which leaves families in a worse net position. It showed how a lack of health insurance can eat away a family's money when they have to pay for medicine out of pocket. It showed how credit cards can swallow needy families up. There were no repo men here, and maybe there should have been. You can't not pay services and companies without them coming after you at some point.

The work never speaks the terms "the feminization of poverty" or "the infantilization of poverty." However, while the man who is interviewed seemed like he was surviving and could one day thrive, things just seemed to get worse and worse for the single mothers with children. I was able to watch the man's story with no problems, but hearing about the women with children was very distressing to me.

The work interviews individuals on the two coasts. The East Coast and California are expensive! I don't want to render invisible the plight of the rural poor. However, I wonder if these low-income people and their families would have faired better in the South or Midwest. The man interviewed had children in North Carolina.
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