7.6/10
190
7 user 7 critic

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

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

Director:

Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shelby Lee Adams ... Himself
Chad Baker ... Himself
Donnie Benton ... Himself
Burley Childers ... Himself
Homer Childers ... Himself
James Childers ... Himself
Joseph Childers ... Himself
Rosalie Desrochers ... Herself
Roy Childers ... Himself
Debbie Childers ... Herself
Selina Childers ... Herself
Hort Collins ... Himself
Brandon Cooper ... Himself
Johnny Cooper ... Himself
William Gorman ... Himself
Edit

Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

January 2003 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Color:

See  »
Edit

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 »

Connections

References Deliverance (1972) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Very strong and thought provoking, if arguably flawed
3 September 2011 | by See all my reviews

Very interesting documentary about Appalachian photographer Shelby Lee Adams, and the ongoing debate as to whether his photos are too "faked" or staged, and whether they reinforce stereotypes about Appalachia and its people.

Or whether they use valid techniques to reveal deep insight into a time, place, and way of life.

Whatever your philosophy about the "truth" of photos, there is no arguing that many of the images are striking and powerful indeed.

Yet somehow the film stays just a touch too much on the surface. While seeing the worlds of religious snake handlers, etc is fascinating, and some of the intellectual arguments about Shelby"s work are interesting (although tilted towards Shelby by the choice of supercilious, obnoxious commentators on the critical side), the documentary never feels quite as deep or as interesting as the photos themselves.

Yet, all my carping aside, this is strong and well worth seeing on balance, especially if you have any interest in photography, the Appalachian world or the ever ongoing debate on what is "truth" in art.


0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 7 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Sci-Fi Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular sci-fi movies and TV shows available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial