Directed by: Elizabeth Barret
Running Time: 58:00
Long Journey Home explores the ethnic diversity of the Appalachian region, the economic forces causing people to migrate into and out of the area, and the choices individuals make to stay, to leave, and to come back. European immigrants recall the ethnic variety that existed in Appalachia during the first coal boom of the 1910s and '20s. African-Americans whose families left sharecropping in the South to build the railroads and work in the mines talk about the transition to life in the coal camps, and their later dispersal across the country as automation took their jobs.
Eventually, 3.3 million people left the region in search of work. Members of these families, people with deep roots in the mountains, talk about riding the 'hillbilly highway' on weekends and holidays and struggle to find a way to move back home and make a living. Long Journey Home is an important film for anyone contemplating the past and future of the American economy and the toll capitalism takes on individuals, families, and communities.
"A damn good film." -Studs Terkel, author
"Highly recommended." -Choice
"Encountering prejudice against ’hillbillies’ and ’briars,’ difficulties in adjustment to the urban environment, the role of extended kin in easing adjustment problems, and the contrasts in men’s and women’s experiences are all touched on....provides excellent narration on the history of Blacks in the region. Useful for dealing with the effects of economic change, migration, and ethnic identity." -American Anthropologist
Screenings & Festivals
- American Film and Video Festival--Finalist
- Baltimore Independent Film