Monthly Archives: February 2015
The McCall Film Society presents “ Rich Hill”, Wednesday, March 11th at 7 pm at the Alpine Playhouse, 1210 Roosevelt Ave, The film, winner of the U.S. Grand Jury Documentary Award at Sundance Film Festival, explores American rural poverty through the intimate lens of three vulnerable adolescent boys and their families struggling for a foothold into the middle class.
Rich Hill, Missouri (population 1393). Off the highway, next to the railroad track. ANDREW, 14, works on his bike, talks dreams with his dad, practices dance moves with his twin sister. He’s just like a lot of American teenagers, except that his days are often also about survival. HARLEY, 15, lives with his grandma and eight other members of his extended family because his mom is in prison for attempted murder. Still, Harley is the first guy in the room to crack a joke and make you laugh when you least expect it. APPACHEY, 13, finds solace in skateboards and, despite his intelligence, has had to repeat the 6th grade, which doesn’t come close to fixing what’s broken in his life. These boys can be tough – they know how to walk with a clenched-jaw stare like they have nothing to lose. But when you get to know them up-close, you see their insight, their humor, and their determination to survive. And despite the isolation and brutality of their circumstances, their hope for a brighter future persists. They imagine that their hard work will be rewarded, and that, although there is no road map or role model, even they can live the American dream.
In rural communities such as Rich Hill, the plight of youth can be especially startling: the absence of resources can, and often does, limit young people’s vision for the future and keep them locked in abusive situations, prolonged states of dependence, and dysfunction. Their needs go much deeper than running water, having enough to eat and safe shelter. Some have experienced trauma, or have been abused by family members or bullied at school. They are dealing with grief, addiction and the realities of parents’ or siblings’ incarceration. Frequently, they are also dealing with transition from their own juvenile detention and the challenge of putting their lives back together without much support. Where youth in an urban setting might have access to sources of help and hope, kids in rural areas often are stranded and their acute need goes unseen and unrecorded.
RICH HILL takes a hard look at the despair of these youths, as well as at their talents and potential, and at what is at stake when they do not get what they need and deserve. We hope that by bearing witness to their struggle, audiences will see low-income rural families with new eyes and will respond to their condition with a greater understanding and a greater sense of urgency.
Following the film a discussion will be lead by Bill Thomas, Clinical Social Worker at St Luke’s McCall and co founder of the McCall Film Society.
Advanced tickets will be available at the McCall Public Library, starting Thursday, March 5th until 3 pm Wednesday, the day of the show. Remaining tickets will be available at the door. All tickets are free.