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The True Meaning of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams' Appalachia (2002)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 179 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 8 critic

The meaning of art itself comes into question in this documentary about Shelby Lee Adams' controversial photos of families in Appalachia.

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Title: The True Meaning of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams' Appalachia (2002)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shelby Lee Adams ...
Himself
Chad Baker ...
Himself
Donnie Benton ...
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Burley Childers ...
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Homer Childers ...
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James Childers ...
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Joseph Childers ...
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Rosalie Desrochers ...
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Roy Childers ...
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Debbie Childers ...
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Selina Childers ...
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Hort Collins ...
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Brandon Cooper ...
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Johnny Cooper ...
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William Gorman ...
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The meaning of art itself comes into question in this documentary about Shelby Lee Adams' controversial photos of families in Appalachia.

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Documentary

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January 2003 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

After the credits roll a subject of the film is shown commenting to the camera that "sometimes his pictures come out good, and sometimes not so good." See more »

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References Deliverance (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

 
not bad for what it is
8 August 2011 | by (paranodia) – See all my reviews

So I watched 2002's "The True Meaning of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams' Appalachia" directed by Jennifer Baichwal. So was it good, I say yes but not great, and actually just barely good. This movie mostly struck me as pretentious people commenting on the validity of photographing hillbillies. In this film we are even given the definition of a hillbilly by a PHD oooooh, I'll let the filmmaker in on a little secret everyone freaking knows what a hillbilly is. This documentary reflects on the relationship between photographer Shelby Lee Adams' and his subjects of thirty some odd years the mountain folk of Appalachia. He has an honest and true regard for these people having come from this breed of people I guess, however I do not share his love of these creatures. Look we all have flaws and we all have strengths, however I think most hillbillies are racist, undereducated, under motivated, drug addicted, often incestuous, cretins. I fear this type of people because any contact I have with this breed of American has reinforced the stereotypes of them, and their portrayal in this documentary did nothing to change that opinion. This movie is very dry and very boring, but it is a valid exercise in the documentary genre and is an interesting subject overall. However, I personally recommend the "The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia", if you want to see a documentary on hillbillies. It is more fast paced, has good music, and in general gives a more honest portrayal of what a hillbilly is in my opinion. So watch both, I think it is a good way to compare and contrast two sides of the same coin. if you like concise reviews of interesting films please read my other reviews at http://raouldukeatthemovies.blogspot.com/


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