Hard Times Hit the Heartland in Sundance Winner ‘Rich Hill’ (Exclusive Video)

The critically acclaimed doc follows three resilient teenagers whose families are barely staying above water.

Rich Hill, Mo., is like many other Midwestern towns that have fallen on hard times: When the coal industry left, it took with it the town’s economy. But for the eternally optimistic Andrew, one of the three teenage subjects from the Sundance Jury Prize-winning documentary Rich Hill, the American dream is always right around the corner.


In this exclusive THR clip, Andrew once again had to move because his father is unable to hold down a job, but he believes that somehow this time will be different. A cinema verite approach is taken by co-directors and cousins Tracy Droz Tragos (Be Good, Smile Pretty) and Andrew Droz Palermo, whose parents grew up in Rich Hill. Palermo made his bones as a DP on narrative films (A Teacher and V/H/S) and took on the task of shooting Rich Hill on the Red camera with no crew.

As Tragos told THR back in January, “That was an important touch point for our collaboration: to treat this in as cinematic a way as possible.”

Rich Hill opens tomorrow in New York, hits VOD Aug. 5, travels back “home” to Missouri on August 8, then off to L.A. where it will start a run at the Laemmle NoHo Aug. 15.