Living Broke in Boom Times

Lessons from the Movement to End Poverty
Year Released
Film Length(s)
73 mins
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In 1989, Skylight Pictures began to document poor Americans fighting to end poverty. They made three films about it. Three activists who were there now look back at condensed versions of those films and share the lessons they learned.

Featured review

…heart-rending in its depiction of homelessness and desperation, yet inspiring in what it shows about the magnificence of people fighting back, organizing, refusing to accept their situation, trying to build a national movement…
Howard Zinn
Howard Zinn


Living Broke in Boom Times has condensed three groundbreaking documentary films by Pamela Yates and Peter Kinoy (Takeover, Poverty Outlaw & Outriders) into segments of ideal length for classroom use. These films examine activist efforts by and on the behalf of the homeless and destitute, with contemporary interviews and commentary from key activists who led the movement and were featured in the original films. Willie Baptist, Liz Theoharis, and Cheri Honkala discuss the strengths and weaknesses of organizing, and their experiences as part of the anti-poverty movement.

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