I used to make documentary films, so I've seen a lot of them and am not easily impressed. #That said, I enthusiastically recommend to you a 71-minute documentary called 'The True Meaning of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams' Appalachia'. #I got it from Netflix.
Adams is a professional photographer who uses a large-format camera to make stunning family portraits of folks in Eastern Kentucky who live mostly "at the head of the holler", those farthest from the hard top roads and closest to the old ways. #The documentary is a combination of these photos and video coverage of Adams visiting and photographing different families, some of whom he's been visiting for 30 years. #The contents of the film include interviews with old timers, and front porch gatherings as well as more exotic subjects like home funerals, snake handling, and the practice of keeping at home severely physically and mentally challenged children rather than institutionalizing them.
MANDATORY MANDOLIN CONTENT: One sequence features a sole mandolinist picking some modal tuning on an (unplugged) Gibson 50's A model with a couple of electric knobs in the spruce top. #He sounded a lot like a dulcimer, and it felt like an authentic regional style - I really liked it. #
There is some fabulously powerful music in the film - not a lot of it, always in context (i.e. you see the player, who is the dad or grandmother of the family, on their front steps, etc.)
Authentic as dirt.