PIEDMONT -- The next installment of the Piedmont Diversity Film Series examines the effects of poverty on children.

A 53-minute documentary by director and producer Jezza Neumann, "Poor Kids" takes a close look at the lives of several children in the Quad Cities area in Iowa and Illinois. The children tell of the hardships their families face having little or no resources, and it's through their voices that the message really sinks in, film committee members said.

"While we may read articles and statistics in the paper about poverty, it is eye opening and moving to hear the kids speak about the setbacks they are living through," committee member Anita Stapen said.

The film will be shown at 7 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Ellen Driscoll Playhouse at Havens Elementary School, 325 Highland Ave., Piedmont. There will be a reception at 6:30 p.m. and a discussion of the film at 8 p.m.

The 2012 film, which won the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Television Journalism, illustrates on a very personal level the reach of the economic recession that began in 2008. Hosted by the PBS program Frontline, a website for "Poor Kids" reports at least 13 million children were living in poverty in 2011 and that nearly half of states have poverty rates higher than the national average.


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"For me, it is a view into a world I don't know, and many of us may not know firsthand," Stapen said. "I was very saddened by seeing these children, who are blameless, experience the hardships of poverty and having their dreams broken, at least for now. I hope that in showing the film, more people become aware of the way so many Americans live now and feel moved to action."

Committee member Lois Corrin agreed, seeing the film as a call to advocacy.

"Eating, and not necessarily well, is one of the biggest problems for these families," she said. "Their limited funds go furthest at fast-food places. The children know about tasty, healthy food, but it's not available to them."

Corrin said lawmakers who support a reduction in financial assistance for the poor are wrong-headed.

"To think that some elected officials have voted to reduce the food-stamps budget is truly unconscionable," she said.

In addition to the free showing of "Poor Kids" on Sept. 26, The New Parkway theater, 474 24th St., Oakland, also will host a free showing at 3 p.m. Sept. 28. A discussion will follow at 4 p.m.

IF YOU GO
What: Piedmont Diversity Film Series showing of "Poor Kids"
When: Sept. 26: 6:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. film, 8 p.m. discussion
Where: Ellen Driscoll Playhouse at Havens Elementary School, 325 Highland Ave., Piedmont
Cost: Free
Information: www.diversityfilmseries.com