A month before they waved goodbye to CMC and packed a renovated school bus for their inspirational zig-zag across the states, Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci were premiering their rousing new film, Into Poverty: Living on One Dollar, at Pickford Auditorium. The screening and after-party would be good practice for the present: their in-progress, four-month road trip to American colleges and universities, where they are showing their movie and summoning this next generation to help end poverty.
It's a grand campaign on a pauper's budgetthe bus is over 35 years old, doesn't have air conditioning, and is vulnerable to the expected mechanical ailments of an elderly vehicle. But then again, these are the same guys who lived on a dollar a day for eight weeks in Guatemala, dropped 20 pounds from an extreme diet of rice and beans (which was all they could afford) and suffered through E.Coli and giardiaall to understand how deeply to the bone poverty affects 1.1 billion people around the planet. (Watch their I Am CMC video.)
Their ambition and message is finding tremendous traction for a skeleton crew of four. More than half a million video views and countless newspaper stories about their project went by before Temple and Ingrasci presented a much meatier, full-length documentary version of their life-changing, Guatemalan experience. (Watch the trailer by visiting their website.) The newest media coverage comes in a hefty Oct. 3 write-up by The Daily Beast's Robert Bryce.
"Although there are a few laughs in Living on One as Chris Temple, Zach Ingrasci, and their two-person film crew (Sean Leonard and Ryan Christoffersen) cope with fleabites, near-constant hunger, bad health, and the irrepressible good cheer of their new neighbors, the film's achievement is far more important," writes Bryce. "It puts a human face on microfinance, or microlending. The simple, unglamorous concept of providing tiny bits of low-cost credit to some of the world's poorest people has emerged as perhaps the single most effective poverty-reduction method. In this film, it gets a close-up."
Bryce's write-up is pretty thorough in its explanation of Temple and Ingrasci's college-campus tour and mission, if not hopeful for its success. Although the road-trip is an "awfully ambitious goal for a couple of 20-somethings who are unaffiliated with big-name outfits like the World Bank or United Nations," writes Bryce, "Temple and Ingrasci are trying to write a script for yet another fish-out-of-water story, one that mightrepeat, mightactually turn out to be real."
Fans of the Living on One movement can keep tabs on Temple and Ingrasci's progressthey're keeping a travel blog with video clips and photos that is linked up to the official Living on One website.