NOW AVAILABLE ON DVD FOR THE FIRST TIME
Directed by: Alan Bennett
Running Time: 27:00
Clarence “Catfish” Gray is a fifth-generation herb doctor living near Glenwood, West Virginia. In this day-in-the-life visit, Catfish reads letters from around the world seeking health advice, gathers herbs and roots from the woods around his house, receives visitors, and, finally, relaxes by skinny-dipping in a nearby stream. Running throughout the film is Catfish’s constant discourse on his healing techniques and his personal philosophy of life. Fascinating as a character study, Catfish: Man of the Woods has also been used extensively in colleges of medicine and nursing and among health care providers to explore alternative methods of healing and cultural assumptions about medicine and health care.
This film was preserved by Appalshop Archive with funding from the National Film Preservation Foundation. To support the work of preserving and safeguarding Appalshop’s collections, please consider making a donation to Appalshop Archive.
“A beautiful film, keenly observant and irresistibly appealing. It is difficult to imagine an audience that would fail to respond.” –The Washington Post
“A fun film!…a real American character, full of malarkey, old wives’ tales, and tall talk. A great film for library programs.” –Los Angeles County Public Library System
“Good for public libraries and for use in senior high school and college language arts and social studies classes.” –Booklist
Screenings & Festivals
American Film Festival–Finalist
American Film Institute, Washington D.C.
American Folklife on Film, University of Delaware
Conference on Visual Anthropology, Temple University
National Film Theatre/British Film Institute
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art