FRONTLINE: Left Behind America In the decade since the Great Recession, many American cities and towns have bounced back. But for some small and mid-size cities that were once hubs for innovation and manufacturing, economic recovery has remained elusive.
FRONTLINE and ProPublica ask why - and present an in-depth look at one such city, Dayton, Ohio, as its citizens continue to fight for economic revitalization ten years after the financial crisis.
From director Shimon Dotan (The Settlers), Left Behind America was produced in partnership with Chasing the Dream, a multi-platform public media reporting initiative from WNET in New York that aims to provide a deeper understanding of both poverty and opportunity in American society.
Gripping and powerful, the documentary chronicles the lives and struggles of Dayton's working poor as they chase the American dream in the new American economy. As Dotan and correspondent Alec MacGillis of ProPublica explore in the film, Dayton was once the epitome of industry and ingenuity in the American heartland.
The film shows, in cities like Dayton - where many businesses that once employed thousands of people have shut down or moved elsewhere - part-time, low-wage work rather than full-time work with benefits has often become the new normal. And as a result, many families struggle to survive. But despite the obstacles, many Dayton citizens are taking matters into their own hands - and focusing not just on surviving, but thriving.
Left Behind America is the intimate story of one Rust Belt city's struggle to recover in the post-recession economy - and an up-close look at how that struggle presents a challenge to us all.
Producer: Paul Cadieux, Shimon Dotan, Nancy Guerin
Executive Producer: Frank Koughan, Raney Aronson-Rath
Production Company: A Middle America Production Inc., WGBH/Frontline
Production Year: 2018
Copyright Year: 2018
Director: Shimon Dotan
Host: Alec MacGillis
Narrator: Joseph Bohbot
Writers: Shimon Dotan
Subtitle Language: English (SDH)
Language track: English
Audio Format: Stereo
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen