They are, though, mirrored in the people who show up in "Hollow," which gives a more hopeful portrayal of a community that has just as serious a drug problem and an even more depressed economy.
Marsha Timpson is one of 38 McDowell County residents featured in "Hollow."
"I grew up in the '60s," Timpson says. "There was pot and stuff, but not like this, not these soul-taking drugs that people will do anything for."
It's a quote that could be pulled straight from "Oxyana." McDowell County has the nation's worst death rate for prescription pill overdoses.
Timpson's interview, though, is one of only two or three that focuses on drugs, out of dozens that make up "Hollow."
"Hollow" shows McDowell County through the eyes of its residents, many of whom were given cameras to tell their own stories.
Unlike Dunne, McMillion is revered by people in the community she portrays, not reviled.
Renee Bolden lives in Wyoming County but was born in McDowell County and founded the McDowell County Historical Society.
"As far as 'Oxyana,' Sean Dunne just set out to exploit the people that he interviewed in that movie," said Bolden, who hasn't seen that movie. "And 'Hollow' was the exact opposite of that. The stories were told by the people . . . it just showed how the people here have lived."
McMillion spent more than a year in McDowell County, while Dunne was in Oceana for a few weeks.
McMillion has seen "Oxyana" and took no shots at Dunne.
"The films just have very different missions and goals, and that filmmaker had his own interest and I had mine," she said. "I think it's a film that is receiving a lot of criticism, but one the whole state needs to see."
McDowell County has gone from one of the country's richest counties, when coal was booming in the middle of the 20th century, to one of the country's poorest. It has lost nearly 100,000 residents since 1965.
"Hollow" doesn't ignore these realities. It shows how home building has slowed to an absolute trickle after booming for decades. It says that 67 percent of sewage in the county goes straight into mountain creeks because of a lack of infrastructure.
Darren Blankenship owns a tattoo shop and wants to avoid working in the coal mines. By the end of his segment in the film, his shop has gone out of business and he's driving a coal truck.
Anita Wolfe conducts screenings for black lung disease and is now seeing it in younger and younger miners.
"These miners still want to continue working. Technically, they shouldn't. The disease is going to get worse," Wolfe says in the film. "But realistically, they have to, because it's the only thing in their community to do. It's either be a coal miner or be unemployed."
There is a definite hopeful air to the film, though.
We see a high school student from Iaeger who dreams of starring on "Saturday Night Live" and is off to West Virginia University's College of Creative Arts as his section of the film ends.
Ed Shepard has owned and operated the Union 76 service station in Welch for 63 years. In a couple sentences, he encapsulates the problems facing McDowell County and the reasons that its remaining residents are so reluctant to leave their home.
"I would love to see it boom again, but I don't see any possibility of it," Shepard says in the film. "I'd be lost to death if I didn't have this place to come to. What would I do?"
"Oxyana" will be available starting July 1 at www.oxyana.com. Digital rentals are $3.99, digital downloads are $9.99 and DVDs are $20.
"Hollow" is available for free at www.hollowdocumentary.com. It is best viewed using the Google Chrome browser. It has been screened in Welch and Caretta. A screening is planned at the Clay Center on Sept. 3.
Reach David Gutman at david.gut...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5119.