Two filmmakers have teamed with cable powerhouse HBO to produce a documentary on one of the hardest-hit areas in terms of joblessness - Long Island.
With the nation still in the throws of a brutal economic recession and climbing
unemployment statistics, two filmmakers have teamed with cable powerhouse HBO
to produce a documentary on one of the hardest-hit areas in terms of
joblessness - Long Island.Hard
Times – Lost on Long Island,
created by Blowback Productions, was shown in an exclusive
screening this week at Adelphi
University, and according
to political science professor Maggie Gray, Ph.D, the film is a sobering slice
of the reality of our nation’s current economic woes.
the middle of an economic recession...millions of Americans are experiencing
long-term unemployment,” she said. “Personal income is at a low, even for a
recession, and in 2010 alone, the U.S. saw 2.9 million homes
foreclosed. But what does this mean for the average American? The film we’re
going to see tonight answers that question by giving you the personal stories
that you don’t get when you look at the statistics," Gray said.
a moving film that will help you re-think the way our economy works, the role
of our government, of local communities, and even families in times of crisis."
production of Hard Times
, shot entirely on Long Island, highlights the
all-too-human side of the recession; unemployed and underemployed families,
both young and old, desperately trying to cling together amid the stress and
mounting financial burden permeating almost every aspect of their lives. It’s a
touching and affecting look into real people with real problems that anyone
watching could relate to; problems, such as losing their home, that everyone
fears could happen to them.
Robert Linne is a member of an organization at Adelphi called the Francis
Perkins Forum, which works to educate young people about labor studies and
working class issues.
worked with Blowback Productions before on another film that they had done,” he
said. “So, when they made this one, which is set on Long Island,
it seemed like a perfect fit [to] have screened here at Adelphi.”
Plainview resident Alan Fromm, one of the
“stars” of Hard Times
, was on-hand for the screening. Fromm is a centerpiece of
the film, which in part chronicles his year-long search for employment and the
intense stress it caused both him and his family.
for a company that did compliance and ethics training,” he said. “They were
trying to remain competitive and profitable, and they ended up laid off about
70 percent of their workforce, including me. The affect on my family and I was
devastating...I had kids in college, a mortgage, car payments...the whole nine
yards, and suddenly you’re trying to live on unemployment, which doesn’t go
Fromm is now gainfully employed, he said that he’ll never forget the hardships
he endured while out of work.
something you recover from easily,” he said. “I’m working, I’m making a decent
living, but it’s taken its toll, and we’re recovering slowly. But at least
we’re not in the same boat we were in a year and a half ago.”
screening, a panel of guests, including the co-producer
of the film, Alan Fromm, and several Adelphi professors, fielded questions from
Times – Lost on Long Island is set to debut on
HBO in the near future. Check your local listings for time and date.
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