A new documentary takes a look at the personal stories of people dependent on government funded social services. American Winter follows eight Portland families as they navigate through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Filmmaker Joe Gantz says he and his brother Harry made the film with hopes of changing the conversation about the economic recession:
We made the film because we felt that there was this economic discussion going on at every level, but it wasn’t taking into consideration what was happening with real families all across this country… And we felt that if people could see how families were struggling, it would be easier to kind of connect with what’s really going on in this country right now.
American Winter won the award for best documentary at the Portland International Film Festival, and premiered this week on HBO.
Have you seen the film? Do you use social services like 211, or live paycheck to paycheck?