Social Justice

Hillbilly – a 2018 documentary film

How does contemporary America view poverty and rural identity?

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TITLE: Hillbilly – a 2018 documentary film

DIRECTORS: Ashley York and Sally Rubin

SOURCE: Ashley York

PERMISSION TO PUBLISH granted by Ashley York. All rights reserved.

The documentary film Hillbilly introduces audiences to a nuanced, authentic Appalachia that is quite conscious of both how it has been portrayed and the impacts of those portrayals.  Filmed in Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, and California, Hillbilly uses a combination of personal narrative, regional history, and conversations with Appalachians to challenge pervasive perceptions of the region. These conversations include co-director Ashley York’s own grandmother, scholar bell hooks, and writer Silas House. They confront us with hidden history, with issues of social justice, and with emotional dilemmas that may be discomfiting to us, but may also point us toward what legendary civil rights leader John Lewis called “good trouble.”

According to Matt Zoller Seitz, Editor-at-Large of and TV critic for New York magazine: “This is an ambitious and enlightening documentary, filled with wisdom and asking great questions, some of which may never have a satisfying answer.”

Click on the arrow below to watch an introductory excerpt from the 87-minute film.

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