Promises To Keep (1988)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA/Canada, 1988.  .  Produced by .  

The plight of the homeless in Reagan-era America is given hard examination in this powerful documentary. The residents of a New York City assisted-living facility that provides services for many of the city’s struggling citizens is suffering under the weight of costs it cannot meet. Government promises are made to provide funding but these promises are never kept, prompting leading members to take to Washington and protest. Mitch Snyder, the unofficial leader of the protest, begins a hunger strike so powerful that it actually provokes a commitment from Washington to pledge support, but even still it is a long road before this commitment is fulfilled. The film not only looks at the dire situation of those struggling financially, but also at a society whose citizens are being increasingly separated from their leaders by bureaucracy and secrecy. This terrific film makes a great companion to Lee Grant’s Down And Out In America.

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