This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast presents an interview with Pat McGee, a documentary director in both film and television who works to unearth character-driven stories that push to find common ground. Most recently, McGee directed and produced the award-winning From the Hood to the Holler — the focus of this episode — a feature on political activist Charles Booker of Kentucky, one of the rising stars of the progressive political movement. McGee’s other film credits are notable. Also this year he executive produced and directed the soon-to-be-released project about Warren Jeffs, the leader of the Former Latter Day Saints, for Warner Bros. / Discovery. His debut feature documentary, American Relapse, won feature documentary honors at film festivals across the country. In 2018, Vice TV launched the original Pat McGee Pictures series Dopesick Nation, a 10-part documentary about the opioid epidemic in Florida. In early 2020, Pat McGee directed and produced the feature documentary Bernie Blackout for Vice TV. Other documentary feature credits include The Deported featuring Rosario Dawson, From The Hood To The Holler finds political activist Charles Booker working to unite people of all socioeconomic backgrounds while fighting against big money in politics, voter suppression, and systemic corruption. Running in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat held by Mitch McConnell, Charles Booker attempted one of the biggest upsets in political history by challenging establishment-backed candidate Amy McGrath. From The Hood To The Holler 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. In From the Hood to the Holler, McGee captures a young man finding his voice as a leader and his incredible journey against the odds. Booker’s message is simple: Whether you are from the city “hood” — like Booker — or the Appalachian “holler,” you are not invisible. In this episode host Michael Shields and Pat McGee discuss what makes Charles Booker such a special candidate, one that is particularly suited for tackling the problems facing Kentucky in these uncertain times. They discuss how genuine of a human and public servant Booker is, and how painful losses in his life and the Black Lives Matter movement affected his campaign and life. They expound upon Booker’s “New Southern Strategy,” his uncanny capacity to thoughtfully listen to his constituents on the campaign trail, his forthcoming electoral face off with Rand Paul in November, and so much more.
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