(out of 5)
Lee Grant examines the effect of the mid-80s recession on America’s population in various parts of the country: farmers who are fighting the loss of their land due to the disappearance of their industry, factory workers losing their jobs to manufacturing being moved overseas, and the newly homeless in Manhattan whose lives are destroyed by a system that has no safety net. In a very compact, hard-hitting sixty minutes, Grant’s Oscar-winning documentary does a fantastic job of getting into the lives of her subjects and giving them ample opportunity to express their feelings about their situations. What she discovers is a nation full of people who know full well why there are grieved, but have not given up their pursuit of happiness. It’s a marvelous piece of work, not uplifting, but definitely enlightening.
Directed by Lee Grant
Cinematography by Tom Hurwitz
Best Documentary (Feature) (Joseph Feury, Milton Justice, producers) (TIE)