Plot: Jesco White lives in Boone County, West Virginia with his wife Norma Jean and the rest of his colorful family nearby. His father D. Ray White was a world famous tap dancer that entertained audiences for decades, before he was killed in a conflict with some of his neighbors. Jesco carries on the legacy of his father’s art and is an accomplished performer by any definition, though he is often better known for his wild, unpredictable behavior off stage. His marriage is filled with drama and dysfunction, he battles an addiction to lighter fluid and gasoline, and he does not appreciate when his eggs aren’t fried to his tastes. In this legendary documentary, the life of Jesco White is explored and in addition to a look inside his talent for dance, we’re shown a candid, pretense free tour of his one of a kind personal life.
Entertainment Value: I’ve seen a lot of movies described as “must see it to believe it,” but Dancing Outlaw is one of the few that rings true with. This cult classic short film runs under half an hour, but is an unforgettable experience. Jesco White could become an outsider art icon after the movie was released, even getting some mainstream attention for a while and multiple followup documentaries. He remains an enduring cult figure and he brings his unique, outlaw persona to the screen in natural, authentic fashion, a rare instance, even in documentaries. His interviews are open and unfiltered, taking us to his darker points with no hesitation, but also showing us what brings him happiness and even sadness. The man makes no excuses for his actions, other than his love for being high and tells his story in a brutally honest fashion, an approach shared by the others interviewed here. This is proof positive than truth is stranger than fiction and for anyone who appreciates the more colorful, eclectic side of humanity, Dancing Outlaw is highly recommended.