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Sociopolitical Documentary with no narration published by PBS in 1975 - English language

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Image: Welfare-Cover.jpg

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For over 30 years Frederick Wiseman has trained his camera on American life and institutions, having no obvious polemical stance but merely observing, sometimes in minute detail, what he finds. He shoots for many hours, so that his subjects begin to ignore the camera, and edits the collected material for much longer. The surprise is that what he finds is often nothing like what we, or even he, might expect. Welfare was filmed at New York City's obviously overburdened Waverly Welfare Center in lower Manhattan. Shot over four-week period in February and March of 1973 and released in 1975, the ironically titled Welfare presents a series of encounters between welfare workers and applicants and clients. The film views the welfare system as an overloaded bureaucratic nightmare in which genuine need is sometimes indistinguishable from freeloading. This was Wiseman's lengthiest film to date, and its running time of 167 minutes is itself an expression of the Kafkaesque bureaucracy through which welfare applicants must navigate. Significantly, after we enter the Center at the beginning of the film, Wiseman includes no further exterior shots in his trademark transitional montages; instead the camera remains indoors, emphasizing the engulfing nature of the welfare process. It is not coincidental that, chronologically, Welfare comes between Primate (1974) and Meat (1976), Wiseman's darkest films, both in which depict a determinist worldview that is consistent with the treatment of some of the welfare clients. The film is careful to show clients from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds, and racial tensions and class difference, two aspects of American society explored in varying degree throughout Wiseman's oeuvre, emerge here as consistent themes.

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: XviD ISO MPEG-4
Video Bitrate: 2553 kbps
Video Resolution: 720x544
Video Aspect Ratio: 1.324:1
Frames Per Second: 29.970
Audio Codec: 0x2000 (Dolby AC3) AC3
Audio Bitrate: 192kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 1:09 - 1:37
Number Of Parts: 2
Part Size: 1,33 - 1,87 GB
Ripped by: DocFreak08

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