Sao Paulo is Brazil's biggest city and the business hub of the country. Nested between the sky scrapers are the favelas or urban slums housing the poor. The favelas epitomize a stark fact that has come to characterize the country today: the gulf between the rich and the poor in Brazil is one of the biggest in the world. Almost half the country's wealth is concentrated in the hands of just twenty thousand families - out of a population of 184 million.
Today, President Lula da Silva's big project is to make a more equal society. In his election speech, he promised to improve education, to improve health, to make land ownership fairer and - most importantly - to fight poverty. But Brazil's business community believes rapid growth is what is needed to improve the country's economy and combat social inequality. Despite the gulf between rich and poor, extreme poverty is being reduced. In line with its Millennium Development Goal pledges, Brazil has halved the percentage of people living in extreme poverty.
The other titles in the series are:
1. Roma Rights - Breaking the cycle of Roma poverty and persecution.
2. School's Out! - Is the private school option better in a Lagos shantytown?
3. Srebrenica - Looking For Justice - Examines the massacre at Srebrenica on its 10th anniversary.
4. Killing Poverty - Has the corruption in Kenya lessened under its new president?
5. The Great Health Service Swindle - Reversing the brain drain in doctors and nurses from developing countries.
6. The Donor Circus - Zambia tries to change the conditions for international aid.
8. Kill Or Cure? - India's $4.5 billion dollar pharmaceutical industry that serves the world's poor is at a crossroads.
9. The Silent Crisis - The Central African Republic struggles to avoid economic and social chaos.
10. Cash Flow Fever - One in ten people on the planet either send or receive money from abroad.
11. Back In Business? - After 11 years of civil war, can Sierra Leone expect tourism to improve the economy?.
12. Kosovo - A House Still Divided? - Resentment and property ownership issues remain as the UN Housing Property Directorate Mission ends.
13. Trouble In Paradise - Local inhabitants of the Maldives wait for promised tsunami aid.
Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2006
Copyright Date: 2005
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-589-X
VHS ISBN: 1-59458-588-1
"The visual impact of the gripping documentaries in the Life 5 series make them extremely powerful teaching tools for university, and indeed, other classrooms. In succinct episodes they raise and contextualise some of the most critical issues in the world today. These episodes are produced in an extremely objective manner and allow an audience easily to come to grips with an array of complex problems. They ought to be an indispensable part of the teaching curriculum."
Dr. Jeremy Sarkin, Visiting Professor of International Human Rights, Tufts University
"I think the film - For Richer, for Poorer - is a great introduction to issues of income inequality and other challenges of reducing poverty. It clearly shows how economic growth alone cannot automatically reduce poverty and inequality. To do that, governments must invest in housing, education and health services. I also liked how the film illustrates some 'post capitalism' initiatives such as the economic projects of worker-owned factories, giving the viewer a sense of optimism in that poverty and inequality can be diminished."
Katarina Wahlberg, Social and Economic Policy Program Coordinator, Global Policy Forum
"It shows the uselessness of pointing fingers with regard to advances in education (or anything else) even as it displays the luxurious life style of the rich in close proximity to the favelas. Another positive is that the concept of solidarity is mentioned, and a concrete example is shown on how solidarity movements can help socially, economically, and politically. The example of a poor man from poor N.E. Brazil reaching the presidency is another plu