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Poor Us: An Animated History of Poverty

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The Why Poverty? season continues with an attempt to depict the waxing and waning of destitution across the globe, from our hunter-gatherer ancestors through to civilisations that were doing quite nicely until slavery and colonialism, and to shifts in fortune thanks to the Industrial Revolution.

Rather than re-enactments, this doc uses simplistic but charming animations, interspersed with talking heads. Historians draw a picture of how life has changed for the poor down the millennia. One expert points out that in 1800, 90 per cent of the world lived in extreme poverty; now that figure is closer to 15 per cent. But many believe the world is on a slippery slope.


Film by director Ben Lewis revealing the changing face of poverty from the Neolithic age to the present day. The animated odyssey aims to identify what poverty looks like today and questions whether it will inevitably continue in the future. Part of Why Poverty? season.

Cast & Crew

Director Ben Lewis
Producer Femke Wolting

Drama Documentary

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