A Long Hard Streak | About
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Billy Dean Anderson was raised by his grandparents on the Upper Cumberland Plateau in Pall Mall, Tennessee. As a boy he was involved with the church and on the path to becoming a preacher, but at a distinct point he took a drastic turn toward crime. He was obsessively creative and deeply connected to nature but had a violent, criminal streak. The film confronts these two extremes, both explosive and spiritually redemptive, and explores the insular society he called home. Through oral accounts from family, friends, ex-convicts who served time with Billy, local law enforcement, as well as the FBI agent who led the manhunt for Billy, we see how a young man’s tumultuous relationship with the law expands into a broader story of community and loyalty.

 

I (Director/Producer Scott Rabideau) was shocked to discover Billy Dean Anderson was a family member, but was even more compelled by his artwork. Billy painted a multitude of canvases in the cave and also kept a journal. Along with his art, the journal entries allow us to look deeper, beyond his criminal past and into the core of who Billy really was. I couldn’t imagine living in a cave for this long – surviving, writing, and painting while the FBI was conducting a nationwide manhunt. It was fascinating he chose to be creative at all, to use his artwork as a tool to communicate with friends and loved ones.