Frontline: Country Boys

Online video, a discussion board, and follow-up resources are available at the companion web site at PBS Online.

Country Boys Continued

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May 2006 Updates

Chris | Cody

Country Boys

Filmmaker David Sutherland enthralled millions of viewers with The Farmer’s Wife, the story of a rural couple struggling to hold onto their farm and their marriage. In the three-part documentary Country Boys, which premiered in January 2006, he took a similar in-depth approach to chronicle a critical period in the lives of two boys growing into men in Eastern Kentucky’s Floyd County.

Chris Johnson and Cody Perkins Cody Perkins and Chris Johnson of Prestonsburg allowed the filmmaker to follow them from the time they both began attending the David School at 15 to graduation at 18. As they make the transition from adolescence to adulthood and attempt to define the directions of their lives—a difficult enough passage under the best of circumstances—they must also overcome poverty and family dysfunction. The resulting film is a compelling portrait of two particular young men that raises important questions about how individuals, families, and society as a whole can do a better job of helping at-risk youth find direction and meaning.

To address these questions, and to give Kentuckians an opportunity to respond to the film, KET followed up the final installment of the documentary on January 11 with a live call-in program, Country Boys Continued. Both Chris Johnson and Cody Perkins joined us to share their reactions to Sutherland’s documentary and update viewers on their lives since filming ended. Viewers shared their own reactions with Cody, Chris, and a panel of guests:

  • Larry Webster, a Pikeville attorney and newspaper columnist
  • Danny Greene, founder and former executive director of the David School
  • Elizabeth Barret, an Appalachian filmmaker whose productions include Stranger with a Camera

Country Boys was produced by David Sutherland and presented by Frontline. Country Boys Continued is a KET production, produced by Tom Bickel. KET Outreach Director Judy Flavell hosts.


Visit the Frontline web site for Country Boys for background information, video and audio clips, and a discussion guide and other resources connected with the accompanying community engagement campaign.

MENTOR, a national partner in the Country Boys outreach campaign, matches caring adults with young people who need them.