Rich Hill, Missouri (population 1,393) could be any of the countless small towns that blanket America’s heartland, but to teenagers Andrew, Harley and Appachey, it’s home. As they ride their skateboards, go to football practice, and arm wrestle their fathers, they are like millions of other boys coming of age the world over. But faced with unfortunate circumstances – an imprisoned mother, isolation, instability, and parental unemployment – adolescence can be a day-to-day struggle just to survive. With no road map and all evidence to the contrary, they cling to the hope that hard work will be rewarded and even they can live the American dream. Spending a year with these boys and their families, homegrown Missouri filmmakers Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo craft a tale that is cinematically rich and exquisitely intimate, and put a human face on rural poverty in a respectful and artistic way. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, RICH HILL is an irresistibly moving examination of the challenges, hopes and dreams of rural America’s youth.
Director Andrew Droz Palermo, Tracy Droz Tragos