NEW YORK • Veteran character actor Michael Murphy, a frequent “American Experience” collaborator, narrates the latest film from the venerable PBS franchise, “The Feud.” The absorbing and edifying documentary premieres Tuesday, Sept. 10, 9–10 p.m. EDT (consult local listings).

Randall MacLowry wrote, produced and directed the film, which examines what is arguably the most iconic feud in American history – that, of course, between the Hatfields and the McCoys.

MacLowry has made numerous films for the series and network, including most notably 2016’s “The Mine Wars.” Also set in Southwestern West Virginia, the locale of “The Feud,” and recalling the violent skirmishes between striking coal miners and corporate security forces at the beginning of the 20th century, “The Mine Wars” is, in a sense, a sequel to the newer film.

The documentary opens with West Virginian historian Chuck Keeney commenting on, of all things, a Bugs Bunny cartoon: “Hillbilly Hare.” He’s a descendant of Frank Keeney, a notable West Virginian union organizer who played a crucial role in “The Mine Wars.”

Saying he first learned of the conflict between the families through this cartoon, Keeney adds that it perpetuated “the stereotype of the hillbilly in popular consciousness as ... simpleminded, violent, and backward people.”

But, as the documentarians persuasively argue, the storied inter-familial dispute was a “much richer and more complex story,” one that represented “a people’s way of life slipping away and their struggle to adapt to forces far beyond their control.”

Urbanism and industrialism – embodied by the arrival of the railroad –  were the forces that disrupted the peace in the Tug Fork Valley, an Appalachian community that spans parts of Kentucky and West Virginia. The Hatfields and McCoys had been among the area’s first settlers.