OK……so maybe my title isn’t quite grammatically correct. Let me clarify…..I am feeling disturbed. Kevin and I watched a documentary on TV the other night and the contents of that movie are still really bothering me. The movie is old – like from 2009. The name of it is The Wild and Wonderful White Family of West Virginia and is a follow up to another documentary that followed cult outlaw, Jesco White and his mountain dancing. The title of the documentary is very misleading. They got the “wild” part right, but the White family is far from “wonderful.” The Wild and Wonderful of the title actually come from West Virginia’s state slogan “Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.”
So – this documentary was filmed over the course of a year and follows the White family who are basically the lowest common denominator of human life. Granted these people are born into the coal mines of West Virginia which results in a hard life coupled with poverty. The documentary follows the Whites (mother, sisters, brothers, cousins) through their criminal activity, hard core drug use, even harder core drinking, degrading language/cussing, sexual exploits and other horrendous behavior all exhibited in front of their young children who also follow suit. Here is a video from the producers who explain the documentary about this poverty stricken, drug toting, pill taking family.
In the above video, you see a baby being laid in her incubator. In the movie, right after the baby is laid in the incubator, the mother, Kirk White, goes over to the side table in the hospital room where her friend has cut a couple lines of either cocaine or crushed up Xanax…….not sure which, and snorts a thick line of the stuff. She then staggers to the bathroom and says something unintelligible. Kirk has recently been released from jail for prescription fraud (go figure). Fortunately, her newborn was taken away from her and turned over to social services.
The above video clip gives you a glimpse into the movie. After watching 90 minutes of such extreme callousness, partying, lewd and crude behavior, I just find it hard to be sympathetic to the White family. I understand that the cycle is difficult to break. I do not agree with the director of the video. I do not view the Whites as a fascinating wonderful family. Every single one of them is on social security, welfare, and any other assistance program offered. They are smart enough to work the government system. We taxpayers are supporting their drug use and criminal activity (jail). Am I wrong for greatly disliking this family? Or should I feel sorry for their plight? I mean…..judging from the short clip you saw, how do you feel?
Do I recommend that you watch this documentary? I don’t know. As much as I despise the family, the movie has stuck with me and haunted me. I literally couldn’t sleep after watching it. Just be prepared that it is raw footage and your heart will break for those little children who have already showed signs of following in their elders’ footsteps.
Hank Williams III hangs with the White family and provides much of the music (it is crass, too) that Jesco mountain dances to. Jesco’s got talent despite the tremendous loss of brain cells. See the clip below:
See what I mean? The guy’s got great foot work!
At the end of the documentary, the Whites are at a local park boozing and drugging it up. Their language is foul and involves talking about each other’s body parts and every other word is a cuss word. Mamie is stoned out of her mind. Everyone is doing drugs or drinking. The camera then follows an innocent looking blonde haired 4 year old daughter of one of the adults. She goes up to the jungle gym on the playground where there is a horn like tube resembling a megaphone. She puts her mouth up to the tube and shouts, ‘Fuck You.” The camera then pans to a girl around 10 years of age spinning on the merry-go-round. She is smoking a joint.
I don’t know………..this documentary just really bothered me. To see this horrendous behavior in action and watch it perpetuate with the next generation is upsetting. If you end up watching this documentary (it is probably online……….we watched it on The Movie Channel Extra on TV), reply to this post and let us all know your take on it.
I’m just thankful I wasn’t born a coal miners daughter. But if I was, my name would be Jule Bob and I sure as hell wouldn’t be worried about my teeth!