29 July 2022

Appalachia in the news and on screen

At the time of writing this post, the southern Appalachian mountain area - especially eastern Kentucky, eastern West Virginia, and south-western Virginia - is being devastated by flooding that is taking lives and destroying homes. All who feel for the music and the general culture of Appalachia should feel also for its people who are enduring these latest trials, burdens, and dangers.

Coincidentally, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, TN, screened yesterday the 2019 film Hillbilly, produced and directed by Sally Rubin and Ashley York. An investigative documentary, it examines how the stigmas attached to the negative 'hillbilly' stereotypes developed, and how these are linked to the exploitation of the region. A brief trailer is on YouTube, and predominantly favourable reviews are given on the Rotten Tomatoes website.

© Richard Hawkins

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