Under the Radar / UK premiere

White Lightnin’

  • Dominic Murphy /
  • UK / Croatia /
  • 2008 /
  • 90 mins

Edward Hogg, Carrie Fisher, Muse Watson, Owen Campbell

A true original – shocking, fantastical, and driven by a whirlwind energy.

Dominic Murphy’s jaw-dropping feature debut is a wild, grotesque, semi-fantasised biography of the Appalachian mountain dancer Jesco White, here transformed into a figure of increasingly deranged and gory legend. Born into poverty and in trouble with the law from his earliest childhood, Jesco (brilliantly played by a wild-eyed Edward Hogg) finds respite in his dancing – but his demons are never far away.

2009 Archive

Image from White Lightnin’

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  • #1 DIANA VIRGINIA TODEA / Saturday 20 June, 2009 / 18:21 GMT

    I found this movie to be a mixture of psychological elements and a quest for the purity of the soul. For me the leading actor-Edward Hogg-, who plays Jesco, was a true revelation due to his inside power of revealing fear and desperation. Although not a horror movie, it succeeded in scaring a lot of spectators with its haunting imagery and sound "paranoia". A true drama, captured entirely on the face of Jesco, the struggle of finding the reason to live along with a tormented vision of good and evil, this movie proved to be the cut scene of every star's life.
  • #2 Phil Smith / Saturday 20 June, 2009 / 23:51 GMT

    White Lightnin' deals with the feverishly fictionalised story of Jesco White, a troubled Appalachian mountain dancer who attempts to control his psychosis through the folk wisdom, traditions, and religious fervour of his West Virginian upbringing. Edward Hogg gives a standout performance in the role of Jesco, reminding me of Garret Dillahunt's sterling work in HBO's 'Deadwood' but with the electrifying draw of a leading man. The film also features a memorable soundtrack, best of all being the tracks from White's fellow demented West Virginian talent Hasil Adkins.

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