Recently ballistic plastic design advanced to a level where Crackro-American people could be filmed in the wild. So, Julien Nitzberg lived spent a year among a Clan of mountain folk in order to examine the habits and rituals of Jessco White aka “The Tap Dancing Outlaw” and his kin.
The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia studies each member of the White family tree with detail and empathy reminiscent of William Faulkner’s treatment of the Snopes Family. Follow the White Family Tree up from the roots of tap dancer D. Ray who knew 52 more tapdance steps than any other dancer through the trunk of Jessco who kicked those steps until he was the most famous man in West Virginia to the present branch of hyperactive great grandchild, flicking the camera off and vowing to commit patricide.
Nitzberg examines the traditional rituals of mountain folk such as “Mousey” White’s mission to rape her husband upon release from jail. We are also allowed to witness the mourning rites of this Noble Clan which may include murderous “rampage” accompanied by a three-day shootout with police, or run into traffic and “just get run over.” For the Whites there is no in between.
The music and choreography are original. The costumes are excellent. The dialogue is comparable to the best of Rudy Wurlitzer.
Please take the time to see this groundbreaking documentary before domestic stabbings, crushed-up pills and unsupervised gunplay kill off the last Rebels in an increasingly conformist society.