Directed by: Anne Lewis
Running Time: 57 min
Synopsis: Over the past twenty years, manufacturing plants and mining companies have closed throughout rural America, often leaving behind communities with crumbling infrastructures, widespread unemployment, and inexperience in self-governance. Such was the case in two hard hit southwest Virginia towns Trammel and Ivanhoe. In 1986 Trammel attracted national attention as the privately owned town whose 50 homes, company store, post office, and water and cable systems were put on the auction block. Rough Side of the Mountain follows the story as local residents, mostly unemployed and disabled, organized with the help of churches and foundations to purchase the auctioned homes and save their town. In Ivanhoe, the program profiles the efforts of the Ivanhoe Civic League as community members attempt to rebuild after the loss of two major industries, the school, and local businesses. Rough Side of the Mountain looks at grassroots community organizing and the steel ceiling encountered by many poor rural communities as they struggle to develop new economies in an increasingly global system.