Waging a Living (2005)

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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 67 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 4 user | 13 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

The term "working poor" should be an oxymoron. If you work full time, you should not be poor, but more than 30 million Americans - one in four workers - are stuck in low wage jobs that do ... See full summary »

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The term "working poor" should be an oxymoron. If you work full time, you should not be poor, but more than 30 million Americans - one in four workers - are stuck in low wage jobs that do not provide the basics for a decent life. WAGING A LIVING chronicles the battle of four low-wage workers to lift their families out of poverty. Shot over a three-year period in the northeast and California, this observational documentary captures the dreams, frustrations, and accomplishments of a diverse group of workers who struggle to live from paycheck to paycheck. By presenting an unvarnished look at the barriers that these workers must overcome to escape poverty, WAGING A LIVING offers a sobering view of the elusive American Dream. Written by Anonymous

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12 March 2005 (USA)  »

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striking reality
14 January 2007 | by (usa) – See all my reviews

"Waging a Living" tells four inter-cut stories of strife and struggle from the streets of America, as it examines the many nuances of being part of the growing population of 'working poor'. Each story becomes more eye-opening than the last, as we get to intimately know the four people the film spotlights. Overall the film shows a faulty system rife with one catch-22 situation after another, where attempts to move away from poverty only prove to create a new type of poverty.

The DVD of "Waging a Living" contains a short film called "Rosevelt's America" that feels less like a companion piece and more like a missing storyline from the film, and does not have its own reference on IMDb. It was made by the same filmmakers as "Waging a Living", and it follows a good natured Liberian refugee who also struggles from paycheck to paycheck, but sees the U.S. system with an outsider's optimistic perspective, full of hope and promise. On the other hand "Waging a Living" offers a far gloomier picture, so in a matter of speaking if they are taken together a much broader scope of the situation is revealed.

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