Living on One Dollar

one dollar

Four American friends travel to rural Guatemala, where they attempt to exist on a dollar a day for two months to experience life in extreme poverty.

Year: 2013
Certificate: G
Director: Zach Ingrasci, Chris Temple, Sean Leonard

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When four American college students learnt that about 20 percent of the world’s population, 1.2 billion people, live on less than $1 a day, and 1 billion do not have safe water to drink, they decided to try to find out what life for those people is like. However they didn’t just sit at a computer doing ‘research’ they decided to embark on an 8 week challenge in the remote Guatemalan village of Pena Blanca, which has a population of 300, 70% of which live on $1 per day.

To make their experience more realistic they weren’t guaranteed an income of $1 per day that was just the average for the 8 week stay, some days they would have $9 and other days nothing, it was all down to the luck of the draw. The reason being that most of the people who live in Pena Blanca don’t have permanent work and live day to day on what they can earn. Their first challenge is to work out what they can do to make enough money to be able to eat and pay back the loan they have taken out for their property and land. They also have to learn how to make food stretch further and to deal with illness whilst having no money for healthcare.

Living on $1 is an interesting look at life in extreme poverty and the challenges faced by those for whom this is a reality. While it would have been easy for the film makers and editors to show you the boring everyday life that the students faced it is nicely edited to show you the good, and the not so good parts of their experiences without being repetitive, which day to day life inevitably is.

Filmed in a diary style this documentary shows how the friends learn as much about themselves and each other as they do about the residents of Pena Blanca and how they learn to live with, and become members of, the Pena Blanca community.

Living on One Dollar is something worth watching if you like international affairs and have a hour to spare.

Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

About Tammy

A parent blogger and mom to 3 adorable children, who likes watching documentaries and dramas.

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One thought on “Living on One Dollar

  1. It is nice to know that they have a comfortable home and decent meals to go back to if things really get bad. That really the only thing that keeps them going. Yet another ridiculous documentary about privileged people trying to imitate the struggle of the world for a second just to say they did it. Instead of having fun doing this little experiment, why don’t they really help and adopt a few kids.

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