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‘hillbilly:’ Documentary draws discussion of regional portrayal


The Register-Herald

A blending of hillbilly ballyhoo and the “singing cowboy” sound. The Beverly Hill Billies, c. 1934.
(From the documentary “hillbilly”)

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Interweaving historical footage, modern-day interviews and familial interactions in eastern Kentucky, the recently released documentary “hillbilly” shows the complexity of the people of Appalachia against the single-minded, often negative stereotype of the region placed upon it by the outside world.

The documentary, shown Sunday at The Raleigh Playhouse and Theatre, suggests the negative stereotype is used as a way of attempting to make the outside consumer feel superior to those they are viewing.

Co-directed by Ashley York and Sally Rubin, the film dives into the perceptions and attitudes of the outside world, and how these judgements have molded the psychology and culture of Appalachians.

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