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    Presented by at Harvard Film Archive

    October 16, 2011



    Directed by Frederick Wiseman
    US 1975, 16mm, b/w, 167 min
    The desperate melting pot of New York's Waverly Welfare Center simmers and boils over as workers and applicants attempt to decipher the riddles of convoluted bureaucracy and extricate the truth from masses of tangled, tragic tales. The frustration is palpable on both sides of the counter as socio-psychological complexities are forced into numbers, paperwork and regulations. Amid the demoralizing process of earning eligibility by proof of destitution, racial and class tensions ferment, neuroses flourish, and exasperating Kafkaesque scenarios give way to poetic monologues railing against Catch 22 absurdity. Every so often, the camera returns to the familiar and new faces eternally cycling through the torpid purgatory of the Welfare waiting room.

    Harvard Film Archive

    Harvard Film Archive Cinematheque
    24 Quincy Street
    Cambridge, MA 02138

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    Admission Info:

    $9 - Regular Admission
    $7 - Non-Harvard Students, Harvard Faculty and Staff, and Senior Citizens
    Regular HFA screenings are free for all Harvard students with a valid photo ID.

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    Phone: 617.495.4700 or 496.3211

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