Unknown to most Red Boiling Springs residents, a film crew has been in town this past week. Barbara Lohr, a French reporter for the European television network ARTE, and her cameraman Alexandre Rossignol have been following Racoe general manager Joel Coe for a new documentary film. The documentary the two are working on focuses on why Americans support Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump.
“We are very much interested in the economical motivation,” Lohr said. She added that the closing of factories in the area in recent years made Macon County and Red Boiling Springs the perfect spot to show the “rural” side of the debate. “We also wanted to pick a place that wouldn’t be known to the French audience,” Lohr continued.
The crew found Red Boiling Springs after reading an interview Coe had done with the Tennessean in May concerning Trumps landslide victory in neighboring Clay County, where another Racoe factory is located. Racoe, which employs fifty full time workers, makes military clothing for the United States military, as well as the Afghan army and police.
Lohr and Rossignol followed Coe for around four days. “It kind of ruined documentaries for me,” Coe laughed. “I always liked watching them…. Now I know they do that… They have you do something over and over to get the shot they want.”
Coe, who has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services from Lindsey Wilson College, said he really wanted to get across to the documentary crew that he was “a normal guy. Not a deplorable or a racist, you know… I have a college degree.” Coe also shared a little of what he told the filmmakers, including that he believes America has become a “society of consumers” rather than manufacturers. “When you lose your manufacturing, your country is defeated.”
Coe also added that he believed “those of us in the middle class think we’ve been given a raw deal. We remember how it was back in the early ‘80s and ‘90s… We want to see people [in office] who have common sense and business sense.”
The documentary will air on the ARTE channel in Europe in both French and German in the near future. Though the show will not air on television in America, the filmmakers say they will send a link to Coe, who says he will post it on his Facebook so people may access it. Though the film will only be available in French and German languages, the interviews with Coe and others in Tennessee and the U.S. will still be in English.
Reach Kayla Fleming at 615-666-2440.