As the entertainment industry grows ever more out-there in its portrayals of suffering, cruelty, and violence, the heart finds it better to harden, or be overwhelmed. Which is why I was so thrown off when, at a screening of the new HBO Documentary, Paycheck to Paycheck, I burst into tears. The focus of the film is Katrina Gilbert, a 30-year old Southerner and single mother with three young children. Her story is meant to put a face on the numbers, the 42 million women The Shriver Report counts as being on the ever-present brink of absolute poverty—and the 23 million young children who depend on them.
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