This documentary is well done and tries to be balanced. That's why I give it 7 stars. It gave the history of the Appalachia from the American perspective, from the original European immigrants to the modern times.
But, as I watch the trials and tribulations of the Appalachians in the 20th century, I can't help thinking of the original Native Americans who had been there for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans who took over their land and destroyed their culture. To protect the new comers, the US government forcibly evicted the Native Americans so the Europeans can have a free hand and complete possession of the Appalachia. Do they now regret what they did? No, of course not. Will they give the land back to the Native Americans? No, of course not.
When I hear the modern Appalachians bemoan the hardship, I can't help wondering if they have forgotten that their great-great-grandparents had faced much worse hardship in Europe and had to travel to the other end of the world to find a better life and future for their children? If the modern Appalachians choose to stay put, then they should be ready to face and accept the hardship as their chosen way of life. If not, they too are free to migrate elsewhere.
And the complaints about industrialization and progress of the 20th century! Do they really expect time to stay still and everything remain the same? Everything has a price. Hard work and poverty or modernization and change. If they want to keep their primitive ways, they should join the Amish and refuse all modern conveniences. If not, something has to give. They don't get to have the best of both worlds at their choosing.
What goes around, comes around. And people everywhere throughout history have voted repeatedly with their feet where they want to go and how they want to live. Tough it out or seek better opportunity elsewhere. But people are adaptable. The Appalachians, if they want to stay and have a good life, they must adjust like everyone else. Change is the only constant in life and opportunity is as you create it.
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