American Experience (September 2019)
An in-depth look at the legendary conflict between the Hatfields and the McCoys.
The feud between the rural West Virginia/Kentucky clans long ago entered into the popular consciousness, so much so that the families’ names are now synonymous with long-lasting rivalries. At the same time, the way their story has been told has had a lasting, deleterious impact on stereotypical perceptions of Appalachian mountain residents as uneducated, violent, and vengeful people. Director Randall MacLowry’s informative, if somewhat staid, profile, stands as a corrective, contextualizing the feud within the far more complex backdrop in which it developed – a story of industrialization and corporate landgrabbing that threatened the Appalachian way of life.