For Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci, students at Claremont McKenna College studying economics and international development, the daily struggle that over a billion people living on one dollar per day face is more personal than it is for the average westerner. After a visit to Guatemala with a microfinance group, Temple began to lay the foundation for what some might call a radical experiment. Along with two filmmakers, Temple and Ingrasci set out to shine a light on global poverty in a bold way: by living it themselves.
For 56 days in the rural village of Pena Blanca, each of the four young men vowed to live on just one dollar per day. Because many people who live in such poverty must take work as it is given, the quartet paid itself random dollar amounts (often $0) each day to make the experience more realistic. The film even takes a pragmatic turn as the students investigate the powerful impact of microloans on the lives of people in the region. They do all of this while battling chronic hunger and parasitic infections.
Although the documentary, which was available on Hulu for a limited time, began as a small project with only four crew members, it eventually drew the attention of big names such as Jeff Klein, the former general manager for the L.A. Times, David Doss, the former executive producer of Anderson Cooper 360, and Mike Lange, who was the former CEO of Miremax.
Currently, the filmmakers are travelling to promote the film. Those interested in watching the film can find a screening in their area or even host one themselves via the organization’s website.
– Samantha Mauney