Living On One Dollar

By: Sam Mandalke

Background, Central Issue, and Summary

Directed in 2013, Living on one dollar, was directed by Chris Temple, Zach Ingrasci, Sean Leonard, and Ryan Christofferson. This group of 4 friends live on less $1 a day for two months in rural Guatemala. The central issue is that there are people in Guatemala surviving on less than $1 a day everyday, and are in the depths of poverty trying to survive and take care of their kids.

Purpose, Audience, Thesis and Mode

Purpose: The purpose of this documentary was to give the world an insight to the real problems in 3rd world countries. There are people barely surviving because they don't know when they are going to get paid so they are taking care of their families and themselves on less than $1 a day.

Audience: The general public and world.

Thesis: Although there are major health concerns with doing this project, it's an eye opener to the general public to the millions of people living in this extreme poverty need to be helped and a change needs to be made.

Mode: The documentary is the interactive mode and performative mode because all four friends are starring in the documentary and the directors are talking directly to the camera and audience throughout the documentary.

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Logos: "1.1 billion people live on less than $1 a day"

Ethos: The director proves his credibility by interviewing the Guatemalan people to support his argument of just how hard it is to live this lifestyle. (30:20-31:48)

Pathos: The director shows pathos by interviewing the Guatemalan people, showing their living standards and what they go through each day having less than $1 each day.


The counterargument in this documentary is the health concerns of living on a dollar. The directors spent a whole two months living on one dollar starving themselves and dealing with parasites. This is a major health concern and should be addressed by America today to help the millions of people living this way everyday.

Types of Evidence

Facts/Statistics: "There are 1.1 billion people who survive on one dollar a day" (2:42-2:48)

Personal Experience: The directors go to Guatemala and experience the lifestyle of living on $1 a day. The suffer the hardships of hunger and survival.

Visual Styles/Tools

The directors use melancholy music when interviewing the people of Guatemala telling their stories. They also use different colors when showing how much money they have each day. For example when showing the low numbers, they used big red font to emphasis just how little money that is and use big green font to show how much money that is to them. (7:18-7:19)

Strengths, Weaknesses and Fallacies

Strengths: The directors strengths are when they show the actual hardships of living in the depths of poverty and it shows just how real the situation is.

Weaknesses: In my opinion the directors showed no weaknesses through out the documentary. They went and actually lived on one dollar a day instead of just talking about it. They proved their point by actually doing.

Fallacies: The fallacy appealing to pity is used in a sense. The directors go to Guatemala and live on less than $1 a day showing the audience a sense of what these people actually live like. Through doing this, the audience feels a sense of sadness or pity for the people living in Guatemala because they realize just how bad it is over there.


The documentary overall had an emotional effect on anyone who watches it. Everyday we don't realize what a privilege it is to have money. These directors showed us to how hard it is to only live on one dollar a day and there are people living like this for the rest of their lives. The documentary shows us how much a change needs to be made in 3rd world countries and overall had a moving argument of just how hard one dollar a day actually is