IDFA 2014 #3: Rich Hill. 7/10

Editor’s note:

One of the most wonderful things about living in Amsterdam (a city filled with wonderful things) is the recurrence of IDFA every November. The International Documentary Film Festival provides me (and others, no doubt) with a major hit of our drug of choice, film documentaries. I’ve been an addict since 2010 and most years I make it to an average of 10 films. This series documents (ha) my extremely subjective reviews of each film I saw. Take it with as many grains of salt as you need.

My first time in the Eye Cinema, beautiful and very comfy.

Rich Hill, Missouri is former mining town fallen on hard times and the movies follows 3 teenage boys, following their trials and difficulties growing up in poverty and depression.
Andrew is attractive and wiry but works out and shows pride in himself and his family. ’We’re just as good as anyone else’ and ‘I love my parents and my sister and we’ll manage together.’ Very sweet and charming boy but clearly has cards stacked against him. Family has already moved 15 times b/c father doesn’t like to work and mother is ill (unclear what, seems drugged). They heat up water for baths in tea kettle and in pan balanced on top of iron. ‘I believe Go will send me friends or girls who like me when I’m ready for them.’ Heartbreaking, esp when we find out at end that mother died – how on earth will he prevail?
Appachey is overweight and is ADD, bipolar, everything that can go wrong. Mother screams and hits him and many siblings. Uneducated, poor, how can this get better. She also never had a chance to live her own dreams, went straight from mother’s house to being a mom. Appachey gets taken away to detention center at end and she’s relieved.
Harley is angry and obsessed with weapons. ‘I believe that all rapists should be killed by the police or by their victims.’ Hmm, some story there which comes out gradually – his father left when he was 6, just left. He was raped by his stepfather, his mother tried to kill her husband and was sent to jail. He now lives with his grandmother who can’t control him. Very laden, no chance for him either.
Depressing movie! Not even sad, just a downer. Wouldn’t really recommend it, US poverty portrayed in stark reality.


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