Subjects: Physical and Mental Health, American Studies, Class Disparities
Shoot-outs, robberies, gas-huffing , drug dealing, pill popping, murders, and tap dancing - what do these all have in common? These are just a few of the parts of being a member of the Wild and Wonderful White Family. The legendary family is as known for their wild, excessive criminal ways as they are for their famous mountain dancing members, including Jesco White, the star of the cult classic documentary "Dancing Outlaw." Exploring both the comic and tragic sides of life on the other side of the law, this stylish, fast-paced family portrait exposes the powerful forces of corruption, poverty, and West Virginia's environmentally and culturally devastating coal mining culture that helped shape the White family, a dying breed of outlaws preserving a dying form of dance.
World Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival 2008
“At first the world of the Whites seems something far away, foreign, so much so that much of the dialogue comes with subtitles. Yet, when one takes a step backs from the alien aesthetics, another story emerges that sits firmly within a tradition of independent films such as Happiness, Magnolia, and American Beauty. These latter films take on intimate family lives of affluent whites in ordered suburbs but reveal the same pathologies of dysfunction, addiction and abuse. If anything, the Whites are simply honest and upfront about whom they are” – HuffPost
About the filmmaker
Julien Nitzberg is an American screenwriter, stage writer, lyricist, theater director and film director, best known in the film world as the director of the documentary The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia. In the theater world, Nitzberg is best known for writing the book and lyrics for two musicals.