The Best Documentaries About Poverty

There are a number of documentaries out there that detail the different aspects and behind the scenes issues about poverty, including homelessness both locally and globally, child rights within foreign countries like India, the decrease of the dollar in America, and water and food shortages as a result of a lack of financial stability in third world countries. What are the best documentaries about the poor? Poverty literally affects every country in the world in one way or another. This list includes films that focus on issues that currently influence parts of the world, as well as documentaries that take a historical approach, such as America’s Great Depression and the lasting effects it had.
This list discusses the best documentary films discussing poverty issues, including: It Was a Wonderful Life, American Vagabond, Gulabi Gang, and The End of Poverty? Vote up those you recommend, and please add any that we missed.
Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
Ranked by
  • Dilli


    13 votes
    Dilli is a 2011 documentary short history film written and directed by Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas.
  • Appunti per un film sull'India

    Appunti per un film sull'India

    6 votes
    Appunti per un film sull'India is a 1968 short documentary film by Pier Paolo Pasolini where he visits India in the search of a king who could give up his body to feed a starving tiger. The film was ...more
  • The End of Poverty?
    Joseph Stiglitz, Susan George, Chalmers Johnson
    5 votes
    • Released: 2008
    • Directed by: Philippe Diaz
    Global poverty did not just happen. It began with military conquest, slavery and colonization that resulted in the seizure of land, minerals and forced labor. Today, the problem persists because of ...more

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  • Children of Fate: Life and Death in a Sicilian Family

    Children of Fate: Life and Death in a Sicilian Family

    2 votes
    In 1961, director Robert M. Young probed into the lives of an impoverished Sicilian family in his documentary "Cortile Cascino." Three decades later, Young's son, Andrew, revisits the same slums in ...more
  • One Dollar

    One Dollar

    2 votes
    One Dollar, el precio de la vida is documentary directed by Hector Herrera and Joan Cutrina. The documentary portrays a stark vision of the reality of life on the streets of Panama, focusing on the ...more
  • Falcão – Meninos do Tráfico

    Falcão – Meninos do Tráfico

    3 votes
    Falcão – Meninos do Tráfico is a Brazilian documentary produced by rapper MV Bill, his agent Celso Athayde and the Central Única das Favelas audiovisual center. The documentary presents the life of ...more