Picks and Pans Review: P.o.v.: Fast Food Women/takeover
That this segment of the PBS documentary series P.O.V. is appearing during the current season of political conventions is probably no coincidence.
Both of these compelling films are apparently intended to outrage policymakers and the public, forcing them into action. Fast Food Women focuses on rural Kentucky women who have been forced to take jobs at fast-food chains to make ends meet. This might not be such a bad situation for a teenager who is merely saving for a car or college, but for a woman who is the sole support of a family, to earn little more than $2 an hour, with no benefits, seems tragic.
Meanwhile, Takeover follows groups of homeless people who move into abandoned homes owned by the federal government. They contend that as American citizens they have a right to occupy this housing; the government arrests them as trespassers. These examinations of poverty as seen from different perspectives put a human face on the cold statistics of the country's economic decline. Neither that face, nor that of anyone who is watching, will be smiling when these documentaries are over.