Search - It Was a Wonderful Life on DVD

It Was a Wonderful Life
It Was a Wonderful Life
Actors: Jodie Foster, Lou Hall, Reena Sands, Josephine, Marie
Director: Michele Ohayon
Genres: Documentary
NR     2004     1hr 22min

In this award-winning festival standout, Academy Award nominee Michèle Ohayon (Colors Straight Up) presents a riveting and powerful account of six women who are members of America?s growing "hidden homeless" population. Na...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Jodie Foster, Lou Hall, Reena Sands, Josephine, Marie
Director: Michele Ohayon
Creators: Bruce Ready, Jacek Laskus, Michele Ohayon, Elisa M. Rothstein, Kimberly Marteau, Patricia Braun, Tamar E. Glaser
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Docurama
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 02/24/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 22min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Unsettling, if you're a middle-aged woman without security
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I'm in my late 40s, and this film portrayed the situation that I fear most - losing my job and not being able to find another one, then losing my apartment, and then being at the mercy of the elements. I have very little family to fall back on, and I could only count on them for very short-term assistance. I suffer from mental illness that can only be controlled with medication, so losing access to medical insurance would plunge me back into depression and emotional instability.I found the six women who were portrayed in this film to be a lot more resourceful and optimistic than I feel my potential to be.The film was shot in the early 1990s, so watching it a decade later is a bit strange, since I wonder how much LA has changed in the interim. I suspect that the huge amount of illegal immigration into that area makes it even more difficult to find cheap housing than was the case 10 years ago.In the late 80s and early 90s there was also a lot more sympathy for homeless people than there appears to be now, and there are probably less municipal/state/federal resources available now than there were back then. Now that the states are all running large deficits in their budgets, and the cost of housing has skyrocketed, it's probably a dreary prospect to be tossed out of the "safe" world.Jodie Foster's narration was a bit underwhelming, but then that may have been appropriate, since the focus should remain on the subjects of the documentary.This film shared the same problem with the whole concept behind most documentaries, namely: why do the documentarians not provide assistance to their subjects? Or do they have an obligation simply to portray what they observe without interfering?"
It Was a Wonderful Life
Judy FT. | MD, USA | 04/11/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I like Jodie Foster and I happened to find this movie. It turned out to be so good. This movie is a documentary about hidden homeless women. Those could be any one of us. I want to have the strength of holding myself tight enough that it won't affect by any changes around me."
Update on the U-Haul lady, Lou....
Ashley | WA | 05/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"....who took her own life in 1992, shortly after filming. I don't know about the other women, but apparently Lou couldn't take it anymore. I was rooting for her the whole time, since she was able-bodied, younger, and without children or a man. Minimum wage doesn't cut it and something should be done to assure that everyone has a decent, yet humble, home. There is no need for people to live in mansions and be wasteful when there are people like Lou living in U-Hauls and Marie parking her car in a cemetery."
Great Documentary
Diaspora Chic | Silver Spring, MD | 05/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Although this documentary was done fifteen years ago, I rented it because of the title. I find it interesting to know how women do end up homeless. I remember Sixty Minutes doing a segment on homeless women when I was in high school. I have to say that these women are more resourceful than a woman who has a job and a home.
It's a shame that our legal system can barely do anything to help these women to get back on their feet. Yet, they can respond quickly to high-profile cases that are sometimes too outrageous or frivilous. These were women who had good, if not great lives. They were married with children. Some of them were working to make ends meets and not having to worry about tomorrow. Then something happened.
Marital discord, medical injury, loss of employment turned their world upside down. I felt sorry for these women because they were struggling to stay afloat when things took a turn for the worse. Some of them wouldn't turn to their families or friends for assistance; and one didn't have anyone to turn to for assistance.
The thought of what these women are going through is a reflection of what can happen to me and several other women. As much as I whined and complained about not having a place of my own and having to struggle financially, there is always a ray of sunshine.
The only thing we as women need to do is to acknowledge our presence and look out for our well-being. And help each other.
I wonder if there was ever any thought to follow-up on this documentary. One committed suicide and the other was never heard from again. It would be interesting to know what they have been doing since this documentary was made."