WELFARE shows the nature and complexity of the welfare system in sequences illustrating the staggering diversity of problems that constitute welfare: housing, unemployment, divorce, medical and psychiatric problems, abandoned and abused children, and the elderly. These issues are presented in a context where welfare workers as well as clients struggle to cope with and interpret the laws and regulations that govern their work and life.
I wish all the public, as well as all legislators and politicians, could see this film. It could have been made in any urban area in the United States…
–James R. Dumpson, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Social Welfare, in Better Times
WELFARE is an inside look at one of the key institutions around which society functions… and like his other films it is profoundly disturbing, especially for those with preconceptions … As Wiseman’s film shows, a welfare centre is a battleground with the poor fighting desperately against a complex web of Catch 22 regulations that can defeat even the strongest and cleverest… An amazing film.
–Ken Wlaschin, London Film Festival Program, 1975
Wiseman Retrospective at Film Forum Repertory
Educationalincludes public performance rights
released 1975, 167 minutes
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