Nervous White Boy

My MFA Production Workshop teacher, C.E. Courtney screened his documentary from 1989, Nervous White Boy this week.  This was another self-reflexive documentary, similar to the production of Sherman’s March, where C.E. returns home to Mississippi after his uncle was murdered.  C.E. captures his family’s reaction to this crime, especially through the eyes of his mother and four year old nephew.  Issues of race are strongly noted throughout this piece, as his family seems comfortable to drop the “n-bomb” on a number of occasions, and as his uncle was allegedly murdered by a black man.

As I’m working on a story heavily embroiled in the race issue, centering around my hometown, I felt a strong connection to the piece.  I also liked how C.E., like McElwee, allowed the scenes to play out, and the audience to catch their breath and decide their feelings before he came in with his narrated thoughts.  This may be something I choose to do for this shorter piece, just to test out how it appeals to the Emerson audience.

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