White Lightnin'

Watch White Lightnin'

  • NR
  • 2008
  • 1 hr 32 min
  • 7.0  (1,828)

White Lightnin' is a biographical movie released in 2009, directed by Dominic Murphy. The movie tells the story of Jesco White, a mountain dancer from West Virginia who becomes addicted to drugs and alcohol while facing the death of his father and the loss of his wife. White Lightnin' is a raw and intense portrayal of the life of one man, showcasing his struggle with addiction, mental illness and the inherited culture of violence he was raised in.

The protagonist of the movie, Jesco White, is played by Edward Hogg, who delivers an outstanding performance as a complex and tormented individual. Jesco is the son of an infamous mountain dancer, D. Ray White, who taught his son the art of dancing and the culture of violence that surrounds it. The movie follows Jesco's life from his childhood, where he witnesses his father's brutal murder by a group of rival dancers, to his adulthood, where he tries to escape the shadow of his father's legacy and find his own identity.

Throughout the movie, Jesco is haunted by the ghost of his father, who appears to him in hallucinations and feeds his addiction with methamphetamine, or 'white lightning'. Jesco is also haunted by the memory of his wife, Norma Jean (played by Carrie Fisher), who died in a mysterious car accident. Her death pushes Jesco deeper into his addiction and away from his passion for dancing, which used to be his salvation.

The movie is full of violent, disturbing and highly stylized scenes, portraying Jesco's descent into madness and his struggle to overcome it. There are scenes of beatings, shootings, sex and drug use, which might be too graphic for some viewers. However, these scenes serve a purpose in the movie, emphasizing the harsh reality of Jesco's environment and the generational cycle of violence that he is unable to escape.

The supporting cast of the movie is exceptional, including Muse Watson as Jesco's uncle, who tries to help him overcome his addiction, and Wallace Merck as the abusive and manipulative owner of a dance hall, where Jesco and his family perform. The performances of the supporting cast are vital to the dynamics of the movie, adding depth and complexity to Jesco's relationships and the world he inhabits.

The cinematography of the movie is striking, using a mix of handheld and static shots, accompanied by a soundtrack of country and rock music. The soundtrack features a mix of traditional Appalachian music, such as the fiddle and banjo, and modern rock bands, such as The White Stripes and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. This mix of old and new reflects the clash between tradition and modernity that defines Jesco's world.

One of the most impressive aspects of White Lightnin' is the director's approach to the subject matter. The movie is not a typical biopic or a glamorized portrayal of a celebrity's life. Instead, it is an unflinching look at the harsh reality of Jesco's environment and the struggles he faces. The movie does not glorify Jesco's addiction or his violent tendencies but rather shows the devastating consequences of these actions on himself and those around him.

In summary, White Lightnin' is a powerful and intense movie that portrays the brutal reality of mountain life in West Virginia. It is not for the faint of heart, as it contains graphic scenes of violence, drug use and sex. However, it is a raw and authentic portrayal of one man's struggle with addiction, mental illness and the legacy of violence passed down from generation to generation. The movie features exceptional performances from the cast, stunning cinematography, and a soundtrack that perfectly captures the spirit of Jesco's world. White Lightnin' is a must-watch for anyone interested in gritty and realistic portrayals of human experiences.

White Lightnin' is a 2008 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 32 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0.

White Lightnin'
Where to Watch White Lightnin'
White Lightnin' is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent White Lightnin' for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 32 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (1,828)