The Last Hillbilly

Diane Sara Bouzgarrou, Thomas Jenkoe

IndieLisboa 2021 •

France, Qatar, Documentary, 2020, 80′

From mountaineers to miners, and now ignorant, jobless hillbillies. This is how Brian Ritchie describes a generation of Appalachian people, embracing the stereotypes that are imputed to them, but also revealing a type of life in the mountains with a poetic charge difficult to catalog.

In the Appalachian Mountains, eastern Kentucky, people feel less American than Appalachians. These people of rural white America have experienced the economic decline of their region. In the United States, they are called "hillbillies". The Last Hillbilly is the portrait of a family through the words of one of them, a surprising witness to a disappearing world of which he is the poet. Diane Sara Bouzgarrou & Thomas Jenkoe bring a new dimension to the hillbilly, these bouseux who inhabit the Appalachians, in the heart of Kentucky. The film takes a new look that delivers this “character”, transformed into a real monster by American cinema, and gives him back all his humanity. Reclaiming the insult, Brian melancholically recounts the tale of his ancestors and successors and shows America from the forgotten’s perspective. (Mickäel Gaspar)