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Simply put, this is a wonderful little film about a wonderful little
Simultaneously confirming and upending every stereotype you hold about small town America, this film highlights the charming character and wit of the residents of tiny Rabbit Hash, Kentucky and surrounding communities.
If you're the type of city-dweller or Northerner who assumes small town Kentucky is populated by rubes and hillbillies, you'll be surprised to witness the intelligence, self-deprecation, and bright good humor of these folks. It is inappropriate to call them "backwards". They're very aware of the big city, and more than comfortable in the 21st century. They just happen to enjoy their life, and enjoy laughing at themselves- and others.
Before watching this film, you might ask yourself why anybody would want to live in a tiny Kentucky river town. After watching this film, you'll find it hard to believe anybody wouldn't want to live like these people.
A wonderful, wonderful film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There can't be anywhere else in the world quite like Rabbit Hash, KY as this documentary makes clear. The chief thrust of the project is to examine the bizarre, but true, mayoral race between a pig, a couple of dogs, a brain-damaged artist and others. Remarkably, a dog won the election! At first glance, this comes off as a Christopher Guest-like mockumentary, but please be assured that, even though there is a tongue-in-cheek approach to it, the subject matter is completely REAL. Rabbit Hash is a tiny town along the Ohio River with a population of 5 people. Surrounding neighborhoods provide patrons to the town's ancient general store which is in line to be the oldest continuously operating general store in America, but for another claimant or two along the eastern US. The residents of Rabbit Hash live more than simply in real log cabins which have electricity, but (in most cases) few other modern amenities. The town attracts bikers to its riverfront stretch of road and general store, but the surrounding populace includes anything from artists to entrepreneurs and executives to eccentrics, all of whom claim to love the serenity and simplicity of life in the area. Most of the documentary showcases the circumstances surrounding the election of a dog as mayor (with needless weigh-in from pet lover and animal rights activist Wynonna, though perhaps her presence may draw interest from some otherwise wary viewers.) The rest focuses on the inhabitants of Rabbit Hash who are unique, to be sure, and in some cases a bit nutty, but certainly good-hearted and endearing. The director draws upon the quirkiness of the material and the subjects to give the documentary a slightly wacky flavor, yet clearly has an affection for the folks he's interviewing and they have a light-hearted and warm approach to their own stories and surroundings. Some things are just too real to properly fake anyway, such as the mayor's "foster mother" who attempts to give her interview while an unruly child climbs all over her or the little girl who emphatically states that she and her sister are not "hill-jacks" despite the fact that their pastimes chiefly involve playing with rocks and sitting under the porch of the general store. (The general store, by the way, has no bathroom...just a two seater outhouse and a makeshift urinal fashioned from a funnel that now, thanks to a past flood, faces the road and is in plain view of passersby!) The DVD, if it can be found, provides a charming, light-hearted glimpse into these quaint, amusing, simple lives. The people are not unaware of how little they resemble their big city counterparts and, in fact, revel in it proudly. Incidentally, one of the log cabins in the film (I believe it's the one with the huge barrel/shower) was reconstructed log by log from a home out in Campbell County, KY in which my grandmother and several of her siblings were born and partially raised. Upon it's completion, the owner had my grandma and several of her siblings there for a visit so that they could view it's new incarnation. All were pleased to know that the home was being used and not demolished or left to waste away.
This is one of those movies I thought was absurd in that absolute best sort of way. I was not disappointed. If there were more out there that were able to laugh about things, we wouldn't be in as sorry as a state as we are right now. Every single one of these people have something funny to say & I could spend a lifetime laughing w/all these fine folks. It seems everybody in the town of Rabbit Hash doesn't take their town, the hilarious election of a dog named "Goofy" or themselves too seriously. Best of all so many of these individuals aren't hicks, but are extremely smart & they know how to relax by living in a laid back exciting town. I imagine this is one of those towns I would have hated being part of during the awkward teen years, but man I would've loved it as a kid & now. Very funny documentary that would have been better cut down to about an hour. If they made a script concerning this town not only could it be funny, most couldn't possibly believe it's even real. This could be funny as hell if made into a real comedy. This is one of those films you can laugh it & makes you feel good.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Believe it or not, this is one of 2 films made about Rabbit Hash,
Kentucky! This is a minuscule town near Big Bone Lick Park (I am not
kidding--that's the real name) and it made news when they decided to
run animals in their mayoral election! In addition to a dog and a
pot-bellied pig, they also nominated a man, who according to common
knowledge, was "touched". While I don't want to spoil the suspense,
let's just say that the man didn't win!
The best thing about this documentary is that it never took itself seriously in the least. Often, the narration and interviews sounded ultra-serious which only added to the fun and it was all 100% tongue-in-cheek--about the only way you can make a watchable documentary about a town that elects animals for mayor! Now you might assume that this town is nothing but a bunch of ignorant hillbillies. Well, fortunately, the documentary does NOT take this approach--showing the townspeople as more just having a good laugh and creating this crazy election in order to do some fund raising! That's because you paid for each vote! And, the more times you wanted to vote the better for the charity! Seeing doctors, judges, various professionals and smart folk from the town convinces the viewer that these "hillbillies" are very sly and decent folks indeed. After all, they made some money AND captivated a nation--with the election gaining nation-wide attention! Plus, instead of JUST focusing on the election, it's nice to see the documentary as it explores the lives of the townsfolk. This is a great documentary and you can't help but feel like you visited the town when you've seen the movie.
By the way, check out the town's web page at www.rabbithashusa.com. It's exceptionally well designed and the latest election results and political "propaganda" are pretty funny. Apparently, a Border Collie named 'Lucy Lou' is the newest mayor and she even has a MySpace page! By the way, there was one human in the race and they came in 15th with only two votes.
There's also a web page for the film at www.rabbithashthemovie.com. And, finally, when you see the film, watch all the credits--you'll see what I mean.
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