What movie was that...?

04 August 2009

Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus

directed by Andrew Douglas

If you were looking for a simple documentary about southern music, you have come to the wrong place. But, if you were looking for a doc that seeks to change the way you perceive the American South, then look no further. Douglas, starting from the premise that seeks to discover the source of inspiration for Jim White’s musical oddity, The Mysterious Story of how I Shouted Wrong-Eyed Jesus, delves into southern culture, southern music, and southern thinking with an elegant perception that only an outsider can channel. Like a meditative and surreal window into the American South, Douglas talks to criminals and pastors, drinkers and sinners alike. Sure, most of it is staged (beautifully, by the way), and sure, some of the artists in the film aren’t even from the South, but all that doesn’t matter. What does matter is the feeling that the doc fills you with, the mysterious feeling of never being able to understand the South unless you have lived there your entire life. It stands in stark and agonizingly beautiful contrast to our common perceptions of the South, a mysterious and intriguing world full of dark things we may never fully grasp. Performances by Johnny Dowd, The Handsome Family, David Johansen, Lee Sexton, David Eugene Edwards and Jim White himself are out of sight. White himself acts a kind of Virgil, guiding the audience through the back country roads and encounters with unsavory characters. Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus is a stunner of a music doc, a must see. Watch it with an open mind.

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