PIEDMONT -- The Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Film Committee will explore themes of injustice within the economy when it shows "Inequality for All," a documentary featuring former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich.

Reich, who served in the Clinton administration and is now a public policy professor at UC Berkeley, makes the case for railing against a widening gap of income equality.

"Robert Reich is brilliant, funny and captivating as he details the historical reasons that we are now living with a sharp increase in income and wealth inequality, with the overall weakening of the social safety net for the poor and a shredding social fabric and lowered social mobility for the middle class, with little help in sight," said Anita Stapen, a film committee member.

"It may be a little more opaque here in the Bay Area," Stapen said. "However, some examples of this impact are seen in many adult children moving back home, increased crime rates, lowered state and city budgets leading to reduced services and, on a lighter note, roads full of potholes."

Berkeley-based director Jacob Kornbluth knows firsthand the impacts of poverty, growing up on a tight budget, as his single mother raised four children earning low wages.

"Education was my way out, and I don't often call attention to my economically disadvantaged roots," Kornbluth says on the film's website. "But I never forgot where I came from, and I was keenly aware of who had what in society."

Reich seeks to explain during the 90-minute film why Americans can't get ahead even when trying desperately.

"Their debt obligations are staggering, yet if lucky enough to have a job, they're working harder and longer than ever before," he said on the website. "People need to understand what's happening to them because from their perspective, the picture looks pretty bleak."

The committee's first showing of the 2013 film will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Ellen Driscoll Theater, 325 Highland Ave. in Piedmont, with a reception at 6:30 p.m. The second showing will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at the New Parkway Theater, 474 24th St. in Oakland.

Both events are free. The film series is also sponsored by the Piedmont League of Women Voters and DiversityWorks. For more information about "Inequality for All," visit www.inequalityforall.com.