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