Hard Times: Lost on Long Island (2011)


The Great Recession "officially" ended in the summer of 2009, but for 25 million unemployed and underemployed Americans the fallout continues.  For too many, their middle-class life has been foreclosed and their dreams have turned into nightmares.  Sadly, their stories have too often been ignored.  In a strange way they have been “disappeared,” evicted from our collective conscience – a permanent new underclass of long-term unemployed.

Located on Long Island, the birthplace of the post-war suburban American Dream, this documentary follows the story of the long-term unemployed and the shrinking of the middle class by chronicling the lives of four families.  Starting in the Summer of 2010, which was supposed to be the summer of recovery, and continuing through the holiday season six months later, we witness the growing difficulties and despair as these people search in vain for employment while their plight and pain are too often invisible to the political and media elite.   

This film hopes to remind us of their humanity and restore respect and dignity to their struggle. 

Available on HBO Go.

Purchase the DVD from Amazon





HBO Documentaries



Produced and Directed by: Marc Levin

Produced by: Daphne Pinkerson

Co-Producers: Kara Rozansky & Jennifer Weiss

Edited by: Christopher K. Walker

Director of Photography: Daniel B. Levin

Associate Producers: Karl Hollandt & Christopher K. Walker

Original Music by: Philip Quinaz

Production Associates: Teresa Gabry & Rose Schlossberg

Awards: Audience Award for Best Documentary - 2011 Hamptons International Film Festival, Silver Ace Award - 2012 Las Vegas Film Festival, 2012 Long Island International Film Expo - Best Documentary (nominated)

Festivals:  2011 Hamptons International Film Festival, 2012 Omaha Film Festival, 2012 Victoria Texas Independent Film Festival, 2012 Long Island International Film Expo, 2012 Provincetown Film Festival