Director – Lee Hirsch
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What causes a recession?
Choreographed by Pilobolus dance company and narrated by economic historian John Steele Gordon, Lee Hirsch’s “Recession” mounts an entertaining and educational look at what causes an economic recession and how recovery is stimulated.

Directed by Lee Hirsch
Written by Danny Levinson, Lee Hirsch, Pilobolus
Movement by Pilobolus
Economist: John Steele Gordon
Executive Producers Danny Levinson, Robert Fernandez
Producer: Gary Giudice
Director of Photography: Ed Stephenson
B Camera Operators: Jim Gucciardo
Additional Photography: Danny Levinson
1st Assistant Camera: Hiro Wakiya
2nd AC / Data Manager: Tim Trotman
Location Sound Mixer: Stuart Deutsch
Grip & Lighting: Luke Deikis
Production Assistants: Nick Stergiou, Chris Hall, Ben Schaeffer, Rafiya Mason, Alex Libby
Post Production by Spot Welders
Executive Producer: Joanna Ferraro
Editor: Marlo Nespeca
Producer: Jill Ferraro
Assistant Editor: Juliet Warren
SoundDesign & Mix by: Gigantic Studios
Re-Recording Mixer: Tom Paul
Executive Producer: Steven Tollen
Color Services by: Color Collective
Color Producer: Claudia Guevara
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Colorist: Alex Bickel
Color Assist: Jeff Altman
Visual Effects by: TCHYA
Visual Effects Artists: Peter Amante, Matt Stroub
Visual Effects Producer: Jen Sienkwicz
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Composer: Brendon Randall-Myers
Additional Music by: DJ Spooky
Music Supervisor: Winslow Bright
Music Supervision by: Search Party Music
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from the motion picture entitled "Cry Freedom"
as recorded/performed by George Fenton and Jonas Gwangwa
Universal Pictures, A Division of Universal City Studios
Courtesy of Universal Music Publishing Group

Special Thanks:
Anthony "Rocky" Gallo
Virtue Vice Studios
Itamar Kubovy
Hannah Cohen
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Matt Kent
Renee Jaworski
Susan Manikas
Shane Mongar
Karen Feys
Rika Iino
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Katie Connell
Caitlin Moyles
Recession is a production of Moxie Pictures.
This motion picture photoplay is protected under the laws of the United States of America and other countries. Any unauthorized distribution, duplication, or exhibition of this motion picture could result in criminal prosecution as well as civil liability.
Filmed on location in Washington, Connecticut.
No shadow animals were harmed in the making of this film.
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This program was produced by Moxie Pictures who is solely responsible for its content.
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Lee Hirsch

Known for creating change through his documentaries, LEE HIRSCH’s critically acclaimed debut feature, “Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony,” won the Sundance Film Festival Audience and Freedom of Expression Awards, and one of the five Emmy Awards it was nominated for, among many other honors. For his most recent film, “Bully,” Hirsch was inspired by his experiences being bullied throughout his childhood. “Bully” was released in over 33 countries and garnered the prestigious Columbia School of Journalism DuPont Award and the Producers Guild of America’s Stanley Kramer Award for igniting social change. The film has been screened at the White House, U.S. Congress and for Ministers of Education globally. Hirsch launched The Bully Project, a social action campaign to leverage the power of the film to inspire parents, educators and students around the globe. In partnership with various corporations, foundations and educators, The Bully Project highlights solutions that both address immediate needs and lead to systemic change that can improve school climate and promote social and emotional learning. So far over 2,000,000 kids have seen the film for free. Hirsch has taken to the stage as a keynote speaker for Allstate Insurance, Adobe, The U.S. Conference of Mayors, The American Federation of Teachers and various colleges and universities. Highlights include a talk for 15,000 people in Mexico City for The Carlos Slim Foundation and for the L.A. fund at the Nokia Theater for over 6,500 students. In 2007, Hirsch produced and directed the critically acclaimed History Channel special, “Act of Honor.” He attended Hampshire College.

Director's Note

"As I began doing research for this film, I had the opportunity to talk about the economy with some insanely smart people. That’s when I realized there are no hard rules for what happens during a recession, it’s all shades of grey. Since this isn't a black-and-white issue, I was inspired to film ‘in the shadows’, if you will. 

I was incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to collaborate my vision with the help of the amazing dance company, Pilobolus, and economic advisor John Steele Gordon. I really wanted to dive into the human side of the story - the psychology of human emotion behind a recession -- and it turned into these wonderful characters who ultimately duke it out together until their triumphant finale. It was a pure thrill to shoot in shadows and through that hopefully bring to light some realities we're exploring in this series.”

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How do we define a recession? What has to happen?

Though other indicators can contribute to determining when a recession has begun, it is generally agreed that when there are two consecutive quarters of economic decline in the Gross Domestic Product, a recession has occurred. This idea was first proposed by Julius Shiskin in a New York Times article in 1975.

Did you know?

  • 46.7 million Americans must now use food stamps in order to purchase groceries or a meal.

  • The top 10 percent of earners hauled in 46.5 percent of all income in 2011, the highest proportion since 1917.

  • The latest Census shows that half of Americans fall into either the “low income” category or is living in poverty.

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