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77 Ratings

Rich Hill

United States, 2014


In a rural, American town, kids face heartbreaking choices, find comfort in the most fragile of family bonds, and dream of a future of possibility.

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Rich Hill Directed by Tracy Droz Tragos, Andrew Droz Palermo

Awards & Festivals

Sundance Film Festival

2014 | Winner: Documentary (Grand Jury Prize)

Sarasota Film Festival

2014 | Winner: Documentary Directing (Special Jury Prize)

The filmmakers are both native Missourians (Dragos’ father was from Rich Hill and she spent summers there), and the film’s stylistic tone first of all reflects their feelings about a native landscape and communities they know first hand. And, rather than simply being a surface value, it helps establish an empathy that invites us to see not only the hardship but the beauty in lives that are buffeted by difficulty from many directions.
August 01, 2014
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In “Rich Hill,” Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo, cousins and documentarians, immerse themselves in the depressed Missouri town of the title, from which their parents hail. But rather than attempt an elegy for the town, a former coal producer, or an essay on poverty, the pair zero in on three teenagers from struggling homes. The result, shot over a year and a half, is an intimately observant look at individual children and the details of their daily lives and personalities.
July 31, 2014
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Nothing feels particularly original about the enterprise of this film, which features George Washington-esque lyrical interludes, and seems to have taken some of its resilient tone and its three-strand structure from Alma Har’el’s more fabulist 2011 doc Bombay Beach (rougher domestic nonfiction analogues, such as Bill and Turner Ross’s Tchoupitoulas, also abound). But the filmmakers have nonetheless assembled some piercing footage.
July 30, 2014
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