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America's Poor Kids

America's Poor Kids

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Ten-year-old Kayleigh totters along railway tracks, looking for discarded cans to recycle. It’s dangerous, of course, but she can earn up to five cents per can, and her family – her mum and brother – need all the money they can get. Kayleigh is just one of the small casualties of America’s biting recession, a sparky little girl who dreams of being a dancer and who lives in poverty, moving from cheap motel to cheap motel.

Jezza Neumann’s quietly passionate film will leave you feeling both angry and helpless, because this shouldn’t be happening anywhere. The kids are only too well aware of their plight. In San Francisco, 11-year-old Sera lives with her mum and sister in a one-roomed flat, their belongings in piles. “This is not the great American dream,” she says with a wisdom that is heartbreakingly beyond her years.


Child poverty has reached record levels in the US, with more than 16 million children now affected, food banks facing unprecedented demand and homeless shelters dealing with long waiting lists. This documentary offers a unique insight into the impact of the country's economic crisis, as three children affected by the downturn reveal how life in modern America is viewed from their perspective.

Cast & Crew

Director Jezza Neumann
Executive Producer Brian Woods
Executive Producer Lucy Hetherington


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