Rich Hill is a must-see documentary that shines a light on a harrowing way of living in rural America. The titular city is located in Missouri and ravaged by widespread poverty. Families move from home to home in search of jobs while others are trapped economically and socially. It’s one of the more harrowing, depressing features in 2014 due to the likability of only one character on screen. The poster child, Andrew, is the kindest kid of the bunch, while Appachey is a smoking, angry 12-year old kid that lives in a fractured home with no father figure and a horrible upbringing. Harley is the oldest, in high school living with his grandmother after his mother went to jail for attempting to kill a man that ruined their life. Directors Palermo and Tragos attempt to employ cinematic techniques behind their filmmaking and distance the storytelling from documentary realism. Only as we realize the situation on screen does the film create a long-lasting, brilliant impact. 

Grade: ★★★½ (out of 5)

Written by Eric Forthun