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Catalogue Number:  ID0002
Producer:  ID Productions
Producing Agencies:  ID Productions Inc. and Broke Films Inc.
Subject:  Business Studies, Canadian Social Issues, Character Education, Documentary, Family Studies/Home Economics, Guidance, Indigenous Issues, Psychology, Science, Social Issues, Sociology
Language:  English
Grade Level:  9 - 12, Post Secondary
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  2009
Running Time:  58:00
Closed Captions:  Yes

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Broke, a documentary from award-winning filmmaker Rosie Dransfeld, is set in a pawnshop. Its owner, David Woolfson, is a banker of last resort for Edmonton's inner city. The grouchy old guy with the mushy heart, a Jewish immigrant from South Africa, has been running the store for nearly 16 years. Not that he needs to. It's just that, if he was stuck at home, he would go mad. Then, one day, Chris Hoard, an ex-convict, shows up and offers his help.  For free. Shot in cinema-verite style, director Rosie Dransfeld brilliantly captures the unlikely friendship between the grouchy pawnbroker and his sweet-but-psychopathic assistant.  Chris is learning a lot from the old cynic. But he has his own baggage to carry, and it is wearing him down. At times hypnotic, the film portrays a powerful depiction of reality. Dransfeld's style draws us deep into a world of bargaining, insults, poverty and desperation. Although often funny and surprising, the film bluntly points to the hardships and desperation of the marginalized. As the pawnbroker states: "You don't see it in your rarefied living conditions, you don't see how the poor people live, unless you come here. Tragic, some of it."


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