In the state of Kentucky, it is often said that its residents feel less American than Appalachian. Reeling from the effects of an economic downturn, mines that used to employ thousands sit empty across a wild, rolling landscape. Those remaining in the area are often referred to disparagingly as “hillbillies”. For Brian Ritchie, a gentle local worker and loving father, this term is a provocation to be proud of, regularly using it in his affirming, vulnerable poetry to outline his identity and subvert stereotypes. The Last Hillbilly breaks away from traditional narratives around the American wilderness and offers a cinematic last witness to a quickly vanishing world waiting to be reinvented.
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