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Product Details

  • Actors: Narrator: Ofra Kikel
  • Directors: Ofra Kikel
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: January 5, 2010
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002RWX4EI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #599,226 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Producer Ofra Bikel chronicles how the middle class is faring in this recession through the stories of the people who she s come to know at the hair salon she s frequented for the past twenty years. The film reveals the struggles of a small business owner to stay afloat, her sister s risk of imminent foreclosure on her Florida home, and the various clients whose lives intersect at this New York City salon from well-to-do bankers to struggling actors, each with a story to tell about how they re getting by in these turbulent times.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

This PBS DVDs preserves a memorable episode from their award-winning Frontline documentary series. "Close to Home: Scenes from a Recession" is the up-close and personal story of the modern recession from the perspective of the patrons of a hair salon on New York's Upper East Side. From well-heeled bankers to struggling actors, everyone who comes has their own personal story about getting by in tough times. Highly recommended, especially for public library documentary collections. 60 minutes.
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Close to Home -

This 55-minute show aired on "Frontline" on October 27, 2009, after all the bank failures and at a time that the US unemployment rate exceeded 10%. We all see stories on the evening news about how "downsizing" and job loss are affecting the average American. But what about the wealthy and upper middle class New Yorker. How is the poor economy affecting them? And, more importantly, do we care? Your answer to the last question will determine if this documentary will appeal to you.

Frontline producer Ofra Bikel went to an upscale hair salon on the tony Upper East Side of Manhattan and parked her camera as customers (both male and female) arrived. She asked them about their life during the recession. (and in some cases, she followed them home and continued to interview them.). Since not one of the interviews shown features a person who hasn't lost their job or self-employed business, it's a bit one-sided. More importantly, most - though not all - of these people have cut back on luxuries like a high priced haircut. (They must have a Supercuts in Manhattan.).

It was really a challenge to feel sorry for the woman who had to sell her Rolls Royce to pay her health care or the couple who tried to open a coffee shop and failed but still had over $200,000 in debit from credit cards. (Didn't they go to business school.). Andy, the wife, still gets massages weekly and admits that she "puts it on our credit card". Then there is Adam, who lost his job and went to school to get a Masters Degree in Theology. (Theology!) This is a career? As Adam explains he owes $80,000, including his student loan and he "surrenders to God who will make the way". It makes you cringe.

We meet a Human Resource executive who was downsized 6six months ago and can't find a job.
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