21 September 2014 | comicman117
A Depressing But Interesting Documentary
Rich Hill is a very interesting documentary that gets its points across quite clearly. It deals with the subject of poverty and may be a hard documentary to watch, but the film is quite well made, regardless of how depressing the subject and it never tries to downplay that aspect.
Rich Hill, focuses on the lives of three different teenagers, Andrew, Appachey, and Harley, who are living in the impoverished Midwestern town of Rich Hill, Missouri, where filmmakers, who are also first cousins, Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo's grandparents and parents lived.
Andrew is an athletic kid who lives with his mother and a dreaming father who sees no reason to keep a regular job, and takes drugs. Appachey is a chain smoker who lives in an out of control household, struggles with the authorities, and his need for freedom. While Harley, the oldest of three boys, lives with his grandmother, has a disorder connected to his mother being in prison because assaulted his father while he was abusing their son.
What I liked about Rich Hill, was its approach. Instead of just featuring interviews with the three young men (which the film did feature but only a few times), it also delved into their problems and backstories. We got to see into their lives and really learn just how messed up and pathetic things lives really are for them. In particular, Harley's story was the most fascinating for me, as we saw him constantly try to get out of school because of his personal problems, despite the fact that eventually after weeks and weeks of making excuses, if he did leave school again, he would be arrested.
Even if Rich Hill is a depressing documentary, it also does have a bit of the optimism. Both the ending and other parts imply that these young men could be getting better. There may be a glimmer of hope for them, and this makes Rich Hill, less one-sided than one might expect. Parts of this documentary are hard to watch because of its truthfulness, but at the same time, seeing Andrew smile at one point makes up for the overall depressiveness.
Rich Hill is a documentary that some regular moviegoers might avoid because of its subject material. However once you get through the initial idea and the first parts of the documentary, you may find that it's not as hard to watch as you think it is, aided by a strong musical score composed by Nathan Halpern. Rich Hill is a very fascinating look at the values of family life and the struggles people live with daily in an economically disadvantaged Midwestern small town. Rich Hill is not easy to watch, but its headed in all the right places. Share this: