We encounter 95-year-old Elisabeth Mnatsakanjan, a writer, poet, painter, and scholar from the USSR who emigrated to Vienna in the 1970s. Her stories, her poems, her music and an encounter with an old friend depict a life dedicated to the arts and language.
It’s still a tough life in the isolating hills and hollers of West Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina - deep in the Appalachian Mountains. It is the poorest region of the USA. This is ‘Trump-Country’.
The end of extensive coal-mining has left the Appalachians with environmental destruction and unemployment. Many families live in ragged trailers on the verge of or beneath the subsistence minimum. But homemade music gives the mountain people something to hold on to and some dignity and pride in their heritage. Oldtime music echoes in the streets and boisterous dancing occurs at jams or small venues. Both music and dance are deeply rooted in this region.
APPALACHIAN HOLLER is a mesmerizing trip into Appalachia - far away from the American dream.