Rich Hill

Rich Hill

Streaming Video - 2014
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Winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize, this breathtaking film intimately chronicles the turbulent lives of three boys living in an impoverished Midwestern town and the fragile family bonds that sustain them.
Publisher: [United States] : The Orchard : Made available through hoopla, 2014
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (ca. 93 min.)) : sd., col
Call Number: eVideo

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Nursebob
Dec 27, 2015

Intense and voyeuristic, with occasional passages of sadly poetic imagery—a meagre 4th of July fireworks display and neon-lit county fair merely highlight everyone’s plight—Directors Palermo and Tragos refuse to judge their subjects thus avoiding having the film turn into a white trash horror show. Letting the kids, parents, and other adults speak for themselves instead, sometimes directly to the camera, a picture gradually emerges of human beings in flux partially due to their own bad decisions and partially due to the crushing economic realities around them. Garnering neither sympathy nor condemnation, Rich Hill’s snapshot of other peoples’ lives nevertheless leaves its audience with a few indelible memories like one boy's father using an electric skillet, kettle, and clothes iron to heat up enough water to fill the bathtub (the gas was shut off because of non-payment) or another kid enjoying his weekly phone conversation with his jailed mother. Sobering stuff.

c
Curiouskind
Nov 15, 2015

Revealing, thoughtfully crafted documentary. The lives of 3 boys featured in this film speak for themselves. When Harley says, during a meeting with the principal over concern of Harley's attendance record, 'I can make it on my own without an education.' It's a profound statement that he's too young and inexperienced to fully appreciate, even though he believes otherwise. But it's Andrew, all of 14 years old, and also the relationship with his father, Willie, that captured my attention the most. Andrew offers, in his assessment of his dad, that 'all he wants is for someone to be proud [of his dad], and I don't think he understands that I'm proud of him whether or not he does anything [pertaining to Willie's struggles to find stable work and comfortably provide for his family].' Later, the film cuts to a scene where Willie hangs out with the boys, and subsequently has an opportunity to arm wrestle with his son, in which Willie meekly acquiesces. After losing in the contest, Willie stands up from his seat and retreats with a growing smile. There's a lot going on there, and it's clear that there is a mature respect present that is both precious and gentle. I really hope things turn out alright for Andrew and Willie...

v
VcrRocker
Aug 19, 2015

A very moving film. Children, like the kids in this doc, always represent truth to me, because they have not yet been trained to lie by parents and schools. I would love to see a follow up film on these kids ten years after. This film is depicts the future of America, which actually arrived yesterday. Is it the future of Canada as well? Truth is splashed all over this film.

j
jpitzlin
Dec 04, 2014

Simply fantastic. Would HIGHLY recommend. A beautiful depiction of true humanity - these kids offer truths to life we can all learn from.

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Curiouskind
Nov 15, 2015

Appachey's mom, Delena: 'I think it will be the best thing for him [to be in a juvenile detention center]: it's a structured environment. His attitude will change definitely within the first 2 weeks. And they'll [juvenile court] keep him until he's ready for society. But it still breaks my heart that he has to go...but I've done everything that I can for him.'

Willie: 'I don't think I like him [Andrew, his son] running with this new crowd that he's starting to hang around with. He's distant, getting distant. Kids are hard-head.'

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