Stranger with a Camera revisits the tragic murder of a Canadian filmmaker in Appalachia as a way to examine the tensions between media and community.
During the 1960’s, filmmakers from around the world came to Appalachia to document the dire conditions of the region’s poorest residents. But the use of the striking images of poverty also raised questions about whether media-makers with otherwise good intentions exploited and perpetuated long-held stereotypes of Appalachia. In 1967 this tension between media and community led to an extreme and tragic response, when eastern Kentuckian Hobart Ison shot and killed Canadian filmmaker Hugh O’Connor, who was in the region to document conditions of poverty. Stranger With a Camera revisits this tragedy as a way to examine the relationship between media-makers and the communities they portray in their work.