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I may have missed some of the responses about poverty in films, but surely
one problem lies in how poverty is defined--are any films depicting hardships
in urban or rural life automatically about poverty too?
 
With that aside, let me suggest a few more:
Films about poor children abound in many countries
SALAAM BOMBAY, PIXOTE, MUDDY RIVER come to mind
 
Kurosawa has ventured into this area with the unusually expressionistic
DODESKADEN (and edged on it with others).
 
Many of Satyajit Ray's films deal with poverty in some form.  DISTANT THUNDER
is a case of poverty-as-famine inflicted especially by wartime British
Imperial policies.
 
INSECT WOMAN by Imamura depicts a poor woman's struggle to survive.
YELLOW EARTH and LIFE ON A STRING both deal with (financially) impoverished
characters.
 
On the brighter side of things, there's Chaplin's Tramp, especially in THE
GOLD RUSH, MODERN TIMES and CITY LIGHTS.
 
For sheer rage against poverty, it's hard to beat Bunuel.  See especially
LOS OLVIDADOS and his bitter documentary LAND WITHOUT BREAD/LOS HURDES.
 
The lack of money underlies many American social dramas and a number of films
noirs as well:
GREED
STELLA DALLAS
THEY LIVE BY NIGHT (remade as THIEVES LIKE US)
A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN
I REMEMBER MAMA
 
And then there are the film versions of a number of Charles Dickens's works:
DAVID COPPERFIELD, OLIVER TWIST (and OLIVER! the musical), GREAT EXPECTATIONS,
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
 
etc.
 
 
Don Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
 
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