77 minutes 7.7/10 based on 6 votes

Broke is a cinéma vérité masterpiece about an inner city pawnshop. In the documentary, we meet David Woolfson, a Jewish South African who has immigrated to Edmonton, Canada and owns a pawnshop in the city’s roughest neighborhood. He’s been running the shop for over 15 years and has become familiar with the regular characters that come in to the shop to sell whatever odds and ends they find in exchange for a few bucks. His shop, A1 Trading, is the bank of the poor. Is it right to make money from the poor?

The grouchy old shop owner with a mushy heart argues that he is running a legitimate business but his wife disapproves.

One day, Chris, an ex-convict and psychopath walks into Woolfson’s shop and asks to work as an assistant, for free. An unlikely friendship is bonded between the ex-convict and the grouchy pawnbroker. They both learn from each other.

Broke takes us into a complex world of bargaining, insults, poverty and desperation. Highly recommended documentary!

“This is a fabulous film. Among the best documentaries I’ve seen this year.” – Jesse Wente, movie critic

After watching the film, you can read these follow-up articles on David and Chris.

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Discuss This Documentary

  • Tadesan

    That guy is an intolerable douche. I agree with his wife, and I hope he rots.

  • Richie PittsburghMusic


  • kp24o

    If you walk into a pawn shop and there is a jew behind the counter, you deserved to be fucked

  • gucci

    of course he is a jew lol

  • Edgar Hans Peusken

    boring docu but beautiful music.

  • button man

    I love this doc best one yet,im from manitoba canada and we grew up with pawn shops around us ,thanks great film i hope he has time with his wife ,what a nice man

  • gfritz

    The customers are the DBs; he is brilliant.

  • Jason Vorhees

    Good !

  • Greencheek

    Scratched the surface of what could have been an intriguing story, but it’s missing something. Points for authenticity and a few endearing moments, but the director doesn’t show us any real growth in the story or its characters by the end.

  • barrry baptist

    this man is a grub,a leach,a horrible robbing bastard.

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