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Family Movie Review: Rich Hill (NR)

RichHill ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernal

MPAA Rating: NR       Length: 93 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 16+. The documentary is rated NR, but its content would warrant an R rating, primarily because of the heavy cursing used by two of its teenage subjects and their parents. But it’s not objectionable like an R-rated movie would be in that it has sex or violence; cursing is the only real issue. Also the depiction of poverty, underage teenagers smoking, a parent in prison, and the discussion of sexual abuse against children. It’s all harrowing but also gripping, and will be a good watch for parents with older teenagers who can appreciate what these families—who have very different socioeconomic conditions than the ones in our area—are going through.

‘Rich Hill’ is not a particularly easy documentary to watch, but its power comes from the rawness of the situations depicted, of dreams deferred by parents and children alike. Frustration and sympathy define this viewing experience.

By Roxana Hadadi

Documentary “Rich Hill” is about boyhood, but this is not the gold-tinged dreaminess of Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” or the sometimes sarcastic, mostly genuine comedy of “The Kings of Summer.” The film from co-directors Andrew Droz Palermo and Tracy Droz Tragos—cousins who have family ties to the titular community of Rich Hill, Missouri—considers the small town with a mixture of sympathy and frustration and provides its three subjects with absolute openness. This isn’t the adolescence we’re used to seeing on the big screen, but maybe it’s the kind we most need to.

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