Most early mountain settlers did without professional medical help and learned to cure their own ailments using herbs, indigenous folklore, and home remedies. As the people profiled in Nature’s Way suggest, the practice of folk medicine has not disappeared from Appalachia. M.D. Machen is shown selling his cures in the traditional style of the patent medicine man while Scoop and Willie Westbrook talk about their remedies for flu. Etta Banks takes the viewer through the preparation of her family’s special salve. Kern Kiser is seen preparing his cancer cure medicine and describes how it saved his wife’s life. Lena Stephens, a midwife who’s delivered more than 5,000 babies, chats about her work as she calmly delivers twins.
Screenings & Festivals
American Film Festival
Film Festival Rotterdam
National Film Theatre, British Film Institute
Pacific Film Archive