From the Hood to the Holler
Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

From the Hood to the Holler is an inspirational documentary

For his fifth documentary, director Pat Tucker delves into the world of politics in From The Hood To The Holler. The subject of the documentary is Charles Booker. If you didn’t already know, Booker is running in the 2022 U.S. Senate race in Kentucky against incumbent senator Rand Paul in the general election. However, From The Hood To The Holler takes us back to how Booker got his start.

For Kentucky, 2020 was a challenging year. The Covid-19 crisis compounded with the aftermath of Breonna Taylor’s murder highlighted systemic issues in a state that has suffered from stark inequality for decades. As one of the poorest states in the nation, Kentucky has some of the worst access in the U.S. to education, healthcare, and clean drinking water. Ironically, a state with some of the most disenfranchised people has representation by one of the country’s most powerful politicians: Mitch McConnell. 

Running in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat held by Mitch McConnell, Charles Booker attempts one of the biggest upsets in political history by challenging establishment-backed candidate Amy McGrath. The meat of the documentary follows Booker’s campaign across Kentucky, from the most urban to the most rural settings, with Booker and his team rewriting the campaign playbook. 

Instead of exploiting divisions, they lean into the idea that average Kentuckians have common bonds, united by their shared day-to-day fight to survive. Booker works to represent Kentuckians, both Black and White, who feel entirely left out of the political process. His message is simple: Whether you are from the city “hood” like Booker or the Appalachian “holler,” you are not invisible.

I vaguely remember hearing about Charles Booker when he ran against Amy McGrath. However, director Pat Tucker quickly introduces us to Booker in a glorious moment where he stands up to a bully, and we instantly that he has a bright future. I commend Tucker for the way he handles the documentary, as he doesn’t spend the entire documentary painting a portrait that Republicans are evil. Instead, he gives us facts that allude to the time for a change.

There is nothing better than the story of a young man finding his voice as a leader. This mindset comes in From The Hood To The Holler. Learning more about political activist Charles Booker, I realized that it was essential to unite people from all socioeconomic backgrounds to vote. It won’t end anytime soon, but thanks to people like Charles Booker, who are striving to improve things, hopefully, society will make a change regarding big money in politics, voter suppression, and systemic corruption.


Final Grade: B+



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