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It Was a Wonderful Life (1993)

| Documentary
Feature-length documentary deals with homeless women, once secure in their middle-class status, who through divorce, misfortune, or circumstances were reduced to living on the street.


(as Michele Ohayon)

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Herself / Narrator (voice)
Lou Hall ...
Herself (as Lou)
Reena Sands ...
Herself (Ronella) (as Reena [Ronella])
Josephine ...
Marie ...
Terry ...
Alice ...
Marjorie Bard ...
Herself - Author, "Shadow Women" (as Dr. Marjorie Bard)
Jeanette Goldberg ...
Herself (as Jeanette)
Steve Renehan ...
Himself: City of Los Angeles Housing Authority
Gordon Tuthill ...
Himself: Apartment Building Owner
Wayne Doss ...
Himself: Director of Child Support Operations, L.A. County, District Attorney's Office
Dennis Cohen ...
Himself: Center for Enforcement of Family Support
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Linda Hernandez ...
Herself: Parking Enforcement, City of Santa Monica


Feature-length documentary deals with homeless women, once secure in their middle-class status, who through divorce, misfortune, or circumstances were reduced to living on the street.

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Did You Know?


[first lines]
Title Card: Thousands of homeless people in the United States are hidden and go unrecognized as homeless. The majority of them are women.
Title Card: This film is dedicated to the "Hidden Homeless" women who came forward to tell their stories and allowed us into their lives.
See more »


Courtesy of Octave Music Publishing Corporation
Limerick Music Corporation
Timo Co. Music
Reganesque Music Co.
Composed by Erroll Garner
Lyrics by Johnny Burke
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User Reviews

mandatory viewing for ex-husbands
21 December 2002 | by (usa) – See all my reviews

mandatory viewing for soon-to-be-ex-husbands before any divorce settlements are proposed.

the documentary chronicles six women, most divorced, and all homeless, in los angeles, california. ruthless ex-husbands and their divorce counsel have contributed to some of the worst circumstances. it is a serious and slowly-paced film. there are a few especially memorable moments:

* Ohayon (the filmmaker) confronts one of the deadbeat dads, a music industry jet-setter, via phone regarding his childcare/alimony payments, which he claims to make regularly. then Ohayon takes us to a district attorney type who pulls the same man's file and reveals he is completely AWOL with regard to paying child support.

* there's also an amazing interview with a businesswoman and her three daughters, living out of a motel. the mother admits she is quite uncomfortable about disclosing her suitcase lifestyle to colleagues, but her three daughters sharing the motel room display fierce pride -- proud of their mom for supporting them, proud to tell friends how they live, and proud of their ability to cope with the hardship.

* the bureaucratic abyss facing those who dare apply for welfare and government housing subsidies is nicely conveyed via overheard phone calls and failure to deliver, in the case of one woman who finally secures an apartment on assurance of a 'section 8' subsidy.

the narration is read by jodie foster, original guitar and piano soundtrack by melissa etheridge, both understated and do not upstage the subject in any way.

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