Appalachia is no stranger to the complexity of media representation. hillbilly takes the viewer on a personal and political journey into the heart of Appalachia, exploring the role of media and culture in the creation of the iconic American "hillbilly," and examining the social, cultural, and political underpinnings of this infamous stereotype.
Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and and the National Endowment for the Arts, and filmed in California and across the South, hillbilly uncovers an unexpected community of artists, poets, activists, queer musicians, "Affrilachian" poets, and inter-sectional feminists---all unexpected voices emerging from this historically misunderstood region.
hillbilly is a timely and urgent exploration of how we see and think about poverty, southern, and rural identity in contemporary America, offering a call for dialogue between the historically divided populations of Urban and Rural, North and South.
Native Appalachian and Country music superstar Dolly Parton had this to say about the film’s release: “I'm happy to see somebody trying to cover us as we really are and not what some people think we are. It's wonderful the attention you've paid to so many areas that are so important to all of us. I'm proud to have been mentioned in the film a time or two.”
The film’s two directors Ashley York and Sally Rubin, both with Appalachian roots, made this film in order to offer the world a rich and varied point of view of this historically misunderstood region. On the film’s release, the two had this to say:
“We are so gratified to be finally releasing hillbilly, which represents the result of four and a half years of research, fundraising, production, and editing--and several decades of thinking about the issues in the film. Stereotypes about the South and the mountains are hurtful and divisive. We hope our film can ignite change around this issue.”
To learn more about the film, its creators, funders, producers, and advisors please visit hillbillymovie.com or on the official Facebook page.