I had high hopes for this film, and while the film manages to capture some truly tender and tough moments on camera, we're left to drone our way through the lives of these young men with little to pull away from the experience besides what is established firmly in the first 15 minutes, life for many in Rich Hill is one wrought with poverty but redeemed by the love of family, even in a broken home.
A star for each of these boys, with whom it was a sometimes painful pleasure to spend an hour and a half. Unfortunately, the film shows no interest in drawing meaningful connections between the troubled lives of these kids and their families and the socioeconomic realities of Rich Hill writ large. As such, its scope is small and its implications are unexplored.
A raw, beautifully shot and scored documentary showing three slices of real life--families persevering amidst poverty and dysfunction and kids treading the powerlessness of youth. Rich Hill could be anywhere in America and the kids in it could be anyone, but that does not make it any less powerful. The overwhelming hopelessness of their situations is perfectly American.