America ReFramed

The Place That Makes Us

Season 09  Episode 6

When the steel mills shut down in Youngstown, Ohio, it shattered a way of life. Over half the population left, leaving behind thousands of empty blighted homes and eroded the social fabric of this once mighty industrial base. Persistent joblessness, crime and poverty faced the families who stayed. Filmed over the course of three years, this documentary film follows the lives of a new generation of young leaders and activists who have chosen not to abandon their hometown, but to stay, rebuild and make a life for themselves. Together they rise up to restore homes, generate business and ignite their community.

Unlike their parents’ generation, haunted and traumatized by watching their way of life crumble around them, the younger generation grew up in a post-industrial world. Unbeholden to the memory of Youngstown’s heyday, they envision a new future. Interweaving archival footage and home movies of a prosperous forgone past, THE PLACE THAT MAKES US is a powerful and poetic testament of the resilience and dedication it takes to transform a community.