Fictional portrayals of small towns often fall into two categories: quaint or dead-end. However, the new HBO documentary, Our Towns, goes beyond the stereotypes and offers some real insight into what life is like in these communities.
Like the book on which it’s based (Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America, by journalists James and Deborah Fallows), the documentary showcases eight small towns across America.
In each location, the Fallows interview community leaders, organizers, artists, educators, and other residents. They share their stories and experiences. They also talk about how they’re working to improve their respective communities, and the ways in which interpersonal relationships are integral to growth.
In the trailer below, James Fallows notes that an interesting comparison of how each town’s history either represents (or contradicts) the current state of America emerged.
If you live in or come from a small town, or just enjoy documentaries on American life, you should definitely add Our Towns to your watch list. The film debuts on HBO Max April 13. You can sign up here if you don’t already have a subscription.
For those on the hunt for more documentaries, don’t miss Worn Stories on Netflix.