American Winter presents an intimate snapshot of the state of the nation’s economy as it’s playing out in the lives of real American families.
Few people would argue that “the American dream” has changed and controversy swirls around why people end up homeless or in poverty and what they should or can do about their situations and what the government and fellow citizens should or can do. American Winter, by Emmy award-winning filmmakers Joe and Harry Gantz, highlights the work of “211 Info” in Portland, Oregon, a hotline connecting callers with community resources and social services. The film follows eight families who experience homelessness after loss of employment.
The film shows a lot of spirit and creativity, and a big change in attitudes in the people featured who once shared the idea that people became poor from being lazy, or that cutting social assistance was a good way to save money and better the nation. One woman in the film said that prior to her own need for assistance, she thought it was “easy for people who depended on government programs” and that “the system bred abuse.” Now she thinks that safety net programs “help keep families like [hers] just barely above water.”
A community discussion will follow the film.
The screening is sponsored by Rural Edge, the Newport Community Justice Center, HealthWorks ONE Coalition, and Northeast Kingdom Learning Services.
For more information, call Healthworks ONE at 334-6532, extension 8. — from Healthworks One.
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