Moundsville, directed by David Bernabo and John W. Miller and currently playing on PBS, is the biography of a classic American town, Moundsville, WV (pop. 8,400), on the Ohio River, where Appalachia hits the Midwest. Told through the voices of residents, the film diverts from the well-trod paths – opioids, coal, Trump – to trace the many forces that have buffeted this proud town, diminishing it but also offering new promise and opportunities. The film follows the town’s story from the Native American burial mound it’s named after, through the rise and fall of industry — including giants like Fostoria glass and the Marx toy plant (Rock’em Sock’em robots!) — to the age of WalMart and shale gas, and a new generation figuring it all out. By reckoning with deeper truths about the heartland and its economy, without nationalist nostalgia or liberal condescension, Moundsville plants seeds for better conversations about America’s future. You can watch online. This blog, edited in part by Meri Long, has a life of its own. It promotes the film, and collects news about Moundsville and Appalachia, celebrity profiles, poetry contests, and essays about journalism, economics, and history.