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Great Slice of America

Author: chrishorvath from Oakland, California
16 November 2004

I remember this as the greatest documentary I've ever seen.

I saw this in film school in a documentary class. It concerns an ordinary man and his family attempting to run a pizza place through hard times in middle America.

The professor mentioned beforehand that, every year, this was the class' favorite; more than any of the more famous and well-lauded films.

And yet almost nobody has heard of it. Family Business played on PBS in the late 70's as part of a Middletown series and it is quite hard to find. The only place I've ever found that has it, wants to rent it for $100 and sell it for $245.

Nevertheless, if you ever get the chance to see it, jump on it. This film will stick with for life.

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Still effective after almost 40 years

Author: stevenfain from Seattle WA USA
14 May 2006

I found this at the Seattle Public Library, looking for a similarly-named fictional movie.

The documentary is not introduced. The film just jumps right into the story of a family running their own Shaky's pizza business. It exposes the viewer to personal dialog, and work and private behavior - all focused on demonstrating how hard it is to run a small business. Especially a restaurant.

Effective. This is not meant to be too effusive, for it's an hour and a half long, and seems to go on an on. However, in that regard it mimics the struggle the family is going through.

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