Tonight on Frontline, producer Ofra Bikel, who as far as I’m concerned deserved every award ever minted for television for her documentary exposes of the hoax-child-abuse scandals in 1991’s Innocence Lost, will present a new documentary. Close To Home is simply a portrait of her Manhattan hairdrsser… but as usual with Bikel, nothing is simple. Close To Home opens up as a series of portraits, of many lives affected by current economic conditions.

By letting her cameras roll as one customer after another tells a tale of hard work, faith in our leaders to help us in these distressed times, and, ultimately, hard work and faith betrayed by the near-impossible conditions under which many of us now attempt to find or keep a job, Bikel has produced another moving, chilling, and essential documentary.

Check your local PBS listings. You can afford to miss Dancing With The Stars for one night to watch something this good.

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