RESTORING HOPE IN AMERICA’S FORGOTTEN CITIES

a new documentary from filmmaker Christopher F. Rufo

WATCH THE TRAILER

America Lost is a feature documentary that explores life in three “forgotten American cities”—Youngstown, Ohio, Memphis, Tennessee, and Stockton, California.

The film reveals the dramatic decline of the American interior through a combination of emotional personal stories and thoughtful conservative commentary. Filmmaker Christopher F. Rufo spent five years gathering these intimate portraits of Americans on the edge, including an ex-steelworker scrapping abandoned homes to survive, a recently incarcerated father trying to rebuild his life, and a single mother dreaming of escaping her blighted urban neighborhood.

Ultimately, despite these grave challenges, the film offers a glimpse of hope for rebuilding America’s families and communities from the bottom up.

CONSERVATIVE SOLUTIONS TO POVERTY

The crisis of American poverty goes deeper than economics and public policy—it strikes at the very heart of family, community, and spiritual life. The solution is not just to restore the economies of our forgotten cities, but to rebuild our families and communities from the bottom up.

FAMILY

Family is the cornerstone of meaning, success, and human potential in America.

FAITH

The journey to a better life starts with a sense of belief, purpose, and human connection.

WORK

The only way to truly escape poverty is through stable, long-term employment.

COMMUNITY

Top-down solutions have failed—we must restore our communities from the bottom up.

HOST A COMMUNITY SCREENING

Nonprofits, churches, businesses, and public policy centers are showing America Lost and leading the discussion on poverty in their local communities. We’ve created the Community Screening Kit to give organizations an easy-to-use resource for hosting a screening of the film and community discussion about poverty, family, and upward mobility. The kit includes a DVD and digital download of the film, 21-page screening and discussion guide, digital files for the poster and marketing materials, and a public performance license for one location.

Sign up now to host a screening of America Lost and start changing the conversation on poverty in your community.

PURCHASE THE EDUCATIONAL DVD

Universities, libraries, and schools are using America Lost to lead the conversation on poverty and make the film available through their library catalogues. The Educational DVD includes a physical DVD, digital download of the film, educational guide, and academic license for physical and digital library circulation.

Purchase the Educational DVD to add America Lost to your collection.

BRING THE FILM TO A THEATER NEAR YOU

If you’d like to host a theatrical screening of the film for your organization, our team can book the film in a local theater, set up the ticketing system, and help you promote the screening to your community. This is a great option for nonprofits, churches, businesses, and public policy centers that want to host a premium event or fundraiser for their members. We set up the logistics, you promote the event, and we all make an impact.

Please reach out to our team to learn more about hosting a theatrical screening in your community. 

BOOK THE DIRECTOR AS A SPEAKER

Christopher F. Rufo is a documentary filmmaker, contributing editor at City Journal, and research fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth, Poverty, & Morality. His America Lost presentation weaves together insights from making the film, political analysis about our “lost American cities,” and strategies to restore poor American communities from the bottom up. He’s spoken to groups as large as 10,000 people, connecting with audiences and engaging them in thoughtful Q&A sessions after screening the film.

Please reach out to our team to book Christopher for your next conference, meeting, or special event.

PURCHASE THE FILM

Join hundreds of organizations that are changing the conversation on poverty with America Lost

7-Day Streaming Rental
$9.99
  • For personal home-use only
  • 7-day streaming rental of the film
  • No public performance or academic license
DVD + Digital Download
$29.99
  • For personal home-use only
  • DVD and digital download of the film
  • No public performance or academic license
Community Screening Kit
$169
  • For nonprofits, churches, businesses, and advocacy organizations
  • DVD and digital download
  • 19-page screening and discussion guide
  • Public performance license for one location
Educational DVD
$249
  • For schools, libraries, universities, and educational institutions
  • DVD and digital download
  • 10-page educational guide
  • Academic license for one institution

LICENSING FAQ

DO I REALLY NEED TO PURCHASE A LICENSE TO SHOW THE FILM?
WHAT TYPE OF LICENSE DO I NEED TO PURCHASE?
I'D LIKE TO SHOW THE FILM AT MULTIPLE CHAPTERS, BRANCHES, OR LOCATIONS OF MY ORGANIZATION. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
MORE QUESTIONS?
DO I REALLY NEED TO PURCHASE A LICENSE TO SHOW THE FILM?

Yes. If you’re showing the film anywhere outside your home, you must purchase the appropriate license. We review all purchases to confirm correct licensing—please don’t get caught cheating.

WHAT TYPE OF LICENSE DO I NEED TO PURCHASE?

The Community Screening Kit is for nonprofits, businesses, churches, advocacy organizations, and community groups. The Educational DVD is for schools, libraries, colleges, and universities. 

I'D LIKE TO SHOW THE FILM AT MULTIPLE CHAPTERS, BRANCHES, OR LOCATIONS OF MY ORGANIZATION. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

The Community Screening Kit and Educational DVD include a license for one location only. If you’d like to show the film at multiple locations, you must purchase a separate kit for each screening. If you would like to purchase multiple kits at a discounted rate, please contact our team directly at rufo [at] documentaryfoundation.org.

MORE QUESTIONS?

Email our team directly at rufo [at] documentaryfoundation.org.

WATCH THE AMERICA LOST DOCUMENTARY

Menu