Documentary maker Michael Palmieri and photographer Donal Mosher collaborated on this grimly sympathetic movie about Mosher's down-and-out family in upstate New York. Most of the family members are self-conscious enough to realize they’re trapped in cycles of poverty, spousal abuse, and unplanned pregnancy. That doesn't mean they're self-disciplined enough to escape, though, and their perception only makes their working-class misery more acute. There's rancor here, but also unexpected tenderness; after the family's teenage foster child rips them off and lands in jail, the grandmother still welcomes him back into her heart (but not her house). Therein lies the movie's edge: eventually you wonder whether the capacity to accept and forgive is a virtue or part of what’s holding the Moshers down.
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