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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

THE WILD AND WONDERFUL WHITES OF WEST VIRGINIA

By D.E.Levine

A Tribeca Film Festival Selection

Director: Julien Nitzberg
Cast: Jesco White and the White family, Hank Williams III
Producer: Julien Nitzberg and Storm Taylor
Executive Producers: Johnny Knoxville, Priya Swaminathan, Jeff Tremanine and Jeffrey Yapp
Co-producer: Kathie Doering
Associate Producer: Paige Hess-Hill
Original Music: Deke Dickerson
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Genre: Documentary

The White family is not your typical family -- or at least not the typical one most viewers know. However, the Whites may be typical of the American outlaw white trash families that exist in rural America and make no excuses for how they behave.

Openly mocking middle class pretentiousness, the Whites commit crimes, receive government checks for "being crazy", get continually high on drugs and act any way they want to, mocking society and laughing about their exploits.

Filmed poorly in places where the lighting isn't turned on during scenes and the boom is in the frame, it should be noted that despite their wide reaching reputation the Whites make no apologies for their actions and don't even appear to be sorry for the unique circumstances of their lives.

It should be noted that the White family is not typical of West Virginia residents but are a segment often referred to as Appalachian Ministry, which parodies and mocks themselves and their lifestyle.

During interviews and the "documentary" style film, the Whites are followed through their daily activities, which include picking up a daughter-in-law just released after a four-year prison term, snorting crushed tablets through their noses, onscreen, and dancing a particular style of tap developed by the patriarch.

They don't care a whit about how other perceive them and go about their normal lives and illegal activities, speaking bluntly and scoffing at society.

Why should this film be in a film festival? Basically because the film is a realistic and unscripted portrayal of a real existing segment of America and while the White family may not be appealing, they are fascinating and outrageous.