This film tells the tale of a close-knit Appalachian family that has changed little in the last 100 years.

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Bascum Bowling ...
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Clint Bowling ...
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Edgar Bowling ...
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Iree Bowling ...
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Samantha Bowling ...
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This film tells the tale of a close-knit Appalachian family that has changed little in the last 100 years.

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Documentary

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26 May 1999 (USA)  »

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Things to Consider
30 March 2000 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

I'd first like to say that I felt "American Hollow" was an excellent documentary. The main reason for this comment is to clarify some things about the film. Many people have problems because they felt the film did nothing to dispel stereotypes, and also that it added to the list of films only showing the poorest regions of Appalachia. Rory Kennedy's film was not meant to be a representation of Appalachia. She picked the Bowlings because she wanted to originally make a "poverty advocacy film". She was later so impressed by the strong character of Iree that she decided to focus on the family itself. I don't think Rory could have done anything about stereotypes. She didn't script this and hire actors. This was this family's real life. It may have perpetuated the "slack jawed yokel" stereotype, but hopefully in watching it you can relate to the family beyond the stereotypes.

As someone else mentioned, it's very important to realize that this family (especially Iree and Bass) is not lazy. In a meeting Rory Kennedy mentioned that two family members had recently gotten jobs that they had to commute 1 1/2 hours to get to everyday. It's obvious that if there were jobs available, they would have taken them gladly. Why don't they just move? This question shows that you don't really understand the situation. The film clearly pointed out that almost all of the members of the family had tried this and failed. Besides that, the film also shows that family is more important to them than monetary stability. This is a lesson we can all learn from.

BTW, Rory also mentioned that because of the film, Clint started to receive "propositions" from around the country. One lady sent him a plane ticket, but he was too afraid to get on the plane. She then sent him a bus ticket and he moved out to CA and they are "madly in love" and getting married!


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