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The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia


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What's it rated? TV-MA

When? 2009

Where's it showing? Amazon Prime

Maybe you've seen the cult classic documentary Dancing Outlaw (1991), about Jesco White, a mountain tap dancer. It followed his amazing dancing skills, the grinding poverty he suffered, his alcoholism, and drug addiction. This documentary explores the rest of the White clan, a pack of thieves, gas-huffers, drug dealers, and worse. The documentary has now been rereleased for its 10th anniversary, and as an accompaniment to Shut Up Little Man!, it offers another look at humanity's underbelly.

The Whites are really something else. Drug use is a way of life, and the various members talk candidly about their drugs of choice, the crimes they commit, and their multigenerational life of misdeeds. Yes, it's easy to look at this family and feel sorry for them or see them as degenerates and losers, but you'd be hard-pressed to find people living lives more free of convention, expectation, and the law. It's a wacky world they've created, one I wouldn't want to live in, but it's also sort of amazing. Watch at your own peril! (86 min.) Δ



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