Youngstown, Ohio is a steel mill city on the Rust Belt that has seen a major decline over the past few decades. The mills closed and the subsequent loss of jobs sent its residents fleeing. For those left behind, they were faced with a crumbling infrastructure, an uptick in violence and crime and hundreds of vacant homes.
Directed by Karla Murthy, The Place That Makes Us spotlights a group of Youngstown residents seeking to transform their hometown. Filmed over the course of three years, the documentary follows members of the city council and organizers of YNDC (Youngstown Neighborhood Development Committee) as they work to rebuild Youngstown’s abandoned homes and make plans to boost their community. While the documentary is specifically about Youngstown, it could really be about any shrinking city or town in America. What the film does really well is drive home the message that any community can be transformed but it takes its residents, not outsiders, to really enact that change.
The Place That Makes Us premieres today on the WORLD channel series America Reframed. Visit the official website for more information.