Share & Connect
Though the recession officially ended in summer 2009, the fallout continues for some 25 million unemployed and underemployed Americans, many of whom worked their way up the corporate ladder, achieving the American Dream, only to see it slip through their fingers.
Directed by Emmy winner Marc Levin and produced by Emmy winner Daphne Pinkerson, āHard Time: Lost on Long Islandā follows four families on Long Island ā often labeled the birthplace of the post-war suburban American Dream ā as they struggle to find work amidst shrinking finances and declining morale. The timely film debuts Monday, July 9 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
HBO Documentary Films presents another weekly series this summer, debuting provocative new specials every Monday from June 18 through July 30. Other July films include: āMarina AbramoviÄ The Artist Is Presentā (July 2); āBirders: The Central Park Effectā (July 16); āThe Tsunami and the Cherry Blossomā (July 16); āVitoā (July 23); and āAbout Face: Supermodels Then and Nowā (July 30).
Starting in summer 2010, when many hoped an era of recovery would begin, and continuing through the holiday season six months later, āHard Time: Lost on Long Islandā spotlights the challenges facing highly skilled, well-educated Long Islanders who lost their jobs. Public relations professional Anne Strauss notes, āBeing unemployed for two years is not just a financial loss. Itās an emotional loss. Itās a loss of friendships. People disappear. You canāt socialize. It changes every facet of your life.ā
When both people in a couple suffer economic hardships, it can cause considerable strain on their relationship, as Heather and David Hartstein testify. āThings between Heather and I became really difficult,ā admits David.āI didnāt know how to handle and deal and feel emotion.ā Compounding their crisis, the bank rejected their application for a loan modification on the same day their son tested positive for Down syndrome. They subsequently filed for bankruptcy. āThat was when we decidedā¦weāre done with all this,ā explains Heather.
Image Courtesy of Ā Hard Time: Lost on Long Island