Monday, August 25, 2014
"Rich Hill" documents the lives of three disadvantaged teens in rural Missouri
“Rich Hill” is another film showing a time-lapse history of people. This time, it’s three teen boys living in the western Missouri town by that name, growing up in impoverished families. The film is co-directed by Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo (cousins, with parents who grew up I that town.
Andrew is just 13 as the movie starts, maybe 15 at the end, and is clearly the most intact of the group. In fact, he is smart, athletic (getting on the football team), works out, and seems to be the stabilizer in his family. He will turn out as well as Mason in “Boyhood”, one thinks. One problem is that his family moves often, once to Thayer (on the Arkansas border 200 miles away). Great arm wrestling match near the end!
The other two kids, Harley (15) and Appachey (13) are much more troubled, both with truancy and behavioral problems. Harley has been abused. Both kids smoke. You see them haggling over having the change to buy junk food, when the family has to make cash last two weeks on food stamps. There's a confrontation between Harley and the school principal; Harley doesn't understand why he needs an education when he has his family.
The official site for the film is here.
I saw this before a small audience Monday night at the West End Cinema in Washington DC.
Wikipedia attribution link for map of Missouri.