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network 18/11/2014 - 04:58PM


LIVING WITHOUT MONEY, which is now available for screenings throughout the Cinema Politica network, offers a unique perspective on economic disparity, sustainability, materialism, and equitable labour practices.

Although the film’s protagonist, Heidimarie, has lived without money for 14 years, she does not identify as homeless, starving, or marginalized. Instead, the elderly German woman has established a network across Europe within which to share, trade, and gift her skills, possessions, and helpful attitude that enables her to live a comfortable and communal middle-class life, carrying only what fits in her small suitcase. Never at a loss for somewhere to spend the night or share a meal, Heidimarie teaches classes to adults and schoolchildren alike on how to feel happy and own nothing. She is the first to admit that her lifestyle is not viable as a mass solution for social change, but her ability to live as a kindly yet professional glaneuse demonstrates capitalism’s exploitative and contradictory politics of overproduction and undersupply.

Occupying a complicated philosophical and ethical terrain, especially amidst the increased contemporary public attention on unpaid internships and the ‘pay what you can’ business models of artists like Amanda Palmer, LIVING WITHOUT MONEY is provocative in how it reimagines poverty and homelessness as a clean-pressed and well-fed senior citizen who encourages kindness, self-satisfaction, and community throughout her travels. That this film and Heidimarie’s website even exist are self-proving evidence that a life based “more around sharing than bartering” can be highly productive and personally fulfilling. While admittedly more of a picaresque character study than a careful scrutiny of Heidimarie’s lifestyle, Cinema Politica audiences will find themselves with plenty to talk about after a screening.


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