Tag Archives: poverty

Levi, Carlo. Christ Stopped at Eboli

eboli  eboli3d

It was to Lucania, a desolate land in southern Italy, that Carlo Levi—a doctor, painter, philosopher, and man of letters—was confined as a political prisoner because of his opposition to Italy’s Fascist government at the start of the Ethiopian war in 1935. While there, Levi reflected on the harsh landscape and its inhabitants, peasants who lived the same lives their ancestors had, constantly fearing black magic and the near presence of death. In so doing, Levi offered a starkly beautiful and moving account of a place and a people living outside the boundaries of progress and time.

Publisher: Penguin Classics;
Year: 2000
ISBN-10: 0141183217

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Worth, Jennifer. Call the midwife: A True Story Of the East End in the 1950s

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Jennifer Worth came from a sheltered background when she became a midwife in the Docklands in the 1950s. The conditions in which many women gave birth just half a century ago were horrifying, not only because of their grimly impoverished surroundings, but also because of what they were expected to endure. But while Jennifer witnessed brutality and tragedy, she also met with amazing kindness and understanding, tempered by a great deal of Cockney humour. She also earned the confidences of some whose lives were truly stranger, more poignant and more terrifying than could ever be recounted in fiction.

Attached to an order of nuns who had been working in the slums since the 1870s, Jennifer tells the story not only of the women she treated, but also of the community of nuns (including one who was accused of stealing jewels from Hatton Garden) and the camaraderie of the midwives with whom she trained. Funny, disturbing and incredibly moving, Jennifer’s stories bring to life the colourful world of the East End in the 1950s.

Publisher: W&N
Year: 2012
ISBN-10: 0753827875

Chekhov, Anton. [Coulehan, Jack (ed).] Chekhov’s Doctors: A Collection of Chekhov’s Medical Tales

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In his brief life, Chekhov was a doctor, essayist, dramatist and a humanitarian. He saw no conflict between art and science or art and medicine. This collection of stories presents powerful portraits of doctors in their everyday lives, struggling with their own personal problems.

Publisher: Kent State University Press
Year: 2003
ISBN-10: 0873387805

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Guevara, Ernesto ‘Che’. The Motorcycle Diaries

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“In January 1952, two young men from Buenos Aires set out to explore South America on a 500cc Norton. One of them was the twenty-three-year-old Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara.

Written eight years before the Cuban Revolution, these are the diaries of Che Guevara, full of disasters and discoveries, high drama and laddish improvisations. Touring through Argentina, Chile, Peru and Venezuela, his greatest concerns are where the next drink is coming from, where the next bed is to be found and who might be around to share it. Within a decade Che Guevara would be a household name. His trip might have been the adventure of a lifetime – had his lifetime not turned into a much greater adventure.”

Publisher: Harper Perennial
Year: 2004
ISBN-10: 0007172338

Joffé, Roland (dir). City of Joy

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Hasari Pal (Om Puri) is a rural farmer who moves to Calcutta with his wife (Shabana Azmi) and three children in search of a better life. They are cheated out of their rent money and thrown out on the streets, and it’s difficult for Hasari to find a job to support them.
Meanwhile, on the other end of Calcutta, Max Lowe (Patrick Swayze), a doctor disillusioned by an easy job in a Houston hospital, has arrived in search of spiritual enlightenment after the loss of a patient there. However, he encounters misfortune as soon as he arrives.
Hasari comes to Max’s aid and takes the injured doctor to the “City of Joy,” a slum area populated with lepers and poor people that becomes the Pals’ new home and the American’s home away from home.

Producers:Jake Eberts, Roland Joffé
Year: 1992
Director: Roland Joffé
Writer: Mark Medoff

Guthrie, W. The Dust Pneumonia Blues

 

I had always thought the ‘Dust Pneumonia’ referred to in this song was related
to occupational exposure. However, it was a term used to describe a much more acute
reponse to the dust storms that affected the mid-western states during the 1930’s.
This song is taken from Woody Guthrie’s album ‘Dust Bowl Ballads’ which was recorded in
1940.

I got that dust pneumony, pneumony in my lung,
I got the dust pneumony, pneumony in my lung,
An’ I’m a-gonna sing this dust pneumony song.

I went to the doctor, and the doctor, said, “My son,”
I went to the doctor, and the doctor, said, “My son,
You got that dust pneumony an’ you ain’t got long, not long.”

Now there ought to be some yodelin’ in this song;
Yeah, there ought to be some yodelin’ in this song;
But I can’t yodel for the rattlin’ in my lung.

My good gal sings the dust pneumony blues,
My good gal sings the dust pneumony blues,
She loves me ’cause she’s got the dust pneumony, too.

It it wasn’t for choppin’ my hoe would turn to rust,
If it wasn’t for choppin’ my hoe would turn to rust,
I can’t find a woman in this black ol’ Texas dust.

Down in Oklahoma, the wind blows mighty strong,
Down in Oklahoma, the wind blows mighty strong,
If you want to get a mama, just sing a California song.

Down in Texas, my gal fainted in the rain,
Down in Texas, my gal fainted in the rain,
I throwed a bucket o’ dirt in her face just to bring her back again.

Hugo, V. Les Miserables

Sensational, dramatic, packed with rich excitement and filled with the sweep and violence of human passions, LES MISERABLES is not only superb adventure but a powerful social document. The story of how the convict Jean-Valjean struggled to escape his past and reaffirm his humanity, in a world brutalized by poverty and ignorance, became the gospel of the poor and the oppressed.

Author: Hugo, Victor
Title: Les Miserables
Publisher: Collins
Year: 1955
ISBN: 01404444300

Hood, Gavin (dir). Tsotsi

In Johannesburg, a small time criminal, Tsotsi, is a teenager without feelings, hardened by his tough life. After a series of violent gang hits, Tsotsi hijacks a car. However, whilst driving, Tsotsi finds that there is a baby on the back seat. He brings the baby to his house in the slum. The next six days bring about a change in him that couldn’t be foreseen.

Producer: Peter Fudakowski
Year: 2005
Director: Gavin Hood
Writers: Gavin Hood

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