On Tuesday, the Athena Cinema, 20 S. Court St., will host Appalshop's Stranger With A Camera screening.
The film is about the real life events of Hobart Ison, a resident from Jeremiah, Kentucky, who shot and killed Canadian journalist Hugh O’Connor after his team was taking pictures of the region’s poverty. When Ison heard of their filmmaking, he was angry and asked the film crew to leave. As they were leaving, Ison shot O’Connor and killed him.
The screening follows the story of the court case and includes several interviews with both the family and residents of the town during the time of the incident.
If You Go:
What: Stranger With A Camera screening
When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Where: Athena Cinema, 20 S. Court St.
Tiffany Arnold, associate director of Appalachian Rural Health Institute, said the film does an excellent job of portraying the story’s intricacies.
“It really does a great job of showing the complexity of the situation here, how much of an impact that all of those negative portrayals of the region had had on people within the region,” Arnold said. “Appalshop has made a lot of really fantastic films. I think Stranger with a Camera is my favorite and the one that has influenced me the most.”
Appalshop is an organization set in Whitesburg, Kentucky, with the aim of telling the story of the Appalachian people, specifically through film, and set on boosting the economy and education of the Appalachian people. Appalshop has released many films documenting the people of Appalachia and is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
“They kind of represent the voice that's been missing about the region forever,” Arnold said about Appalshop. “A lot of times, who we are has been defined by people not from here. And so they have been around and making films about the region to kind of combat those ideas.”
Heaven Herrold, library support specialist at Alden Library, speaks of being an Appalachian herself and why people should learn more about the Appalachian region.
“There's all kinds of people who are from here who are quite Appalachian, but I think it's definitely important because it's kind of like a different culture,” Harrold said. “It's something to study and learn, to wonder why people say pop instead of soda and more important things than that, of course. It's like learning any culture.”
For years, some Appalachian people have been misrepresented in the media where sweeping generalizations of the Appalachian people have gained popular light. Media depiction has gone through positive and negative waves, though recently with the light Joe Burrow has shed on the area, it is getting positive attention right now.
“We were planning this before all the other stuff that has happened, so it just worked out that this media conversation has started again,” Arnold said. “I hope that people who haven't done a lot of understanding of Ohio University and the situation of the region will start to understand the opportunity that we have being here and the opportunity they have to learn about a really interesting history.”
Catie Bugos, a junior studying the recording industry, speaks of why students should take advantage of this screening.
“I feel like they are underrepresented, so when stuff like this happens, it’s good to show people that aren’t from around here,” Bugos said. “A lot of students are from other parts of Ohio or the country ,and they are not really aware of Appalachia culture and history, so having screenings like this is really cool.”