From 7 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15 in the Pollock Theater at UCSB, there will be a free screening of American Winter and panel discussion with filmmaker Harry Gantz, county Supervisor Salud Carbajal and Good Samaritan Shelter Executive Director Sylvia Barnard with panel moderator Geoff Green, executive director of The Fund for Santa Barbara.
A free reservation is needed to secure a seat and can be made online by clicking here.
American Winter is a documentary feature film that follows the personal stories of families struggling in the aftermath of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Filmed over the course of one winter in an American city, the film presents an intimate snapshot of the state of the nation's economy as it is playing out in millions of American families, and highlights the human consequences of the decline of the middle class and the fracturing of the American Dream.
Emmy-winning filmmakers Joe and Harry Gantz (HBO’s Taxicab Confessions, The Defenders) feature struggling families who called into the 2-1-1 social services hotline in search of help during the winter of 2012 in this powerful film, which debuted on HBO in March.
The latest U.S. census data shows that 46.5 million Americans are living in poverty; this includes 16.1 million children. Even as the economy slowly recovers from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, an increasing number of American families are finding themselves caught in a daily struggle to meet their basic needs. At the same time, the social safety net that was intended to help those in crisis has been impacted by budget cuts, creating a perfect storm of greater need and fewer resources available to assist vulnerable families.
Framed through the very personal stories of eight families, American Winter reveals the devastating fallout of the mortgage meltdown, unemployment, the health-care crisis and a shrinking social safety net. Woven into the film are interviews with local economic experts, policy analysts, religious leaders and social workers, all of whom give context to the families’ stories.
The screening of American Winter is co-sponsored by the Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County, the Carsey Wolf Center at UCSB, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and The Fund for Santa Barbara.
— Elizabeth Lee is a grant writer for the Community Action Commission.