White Girl (2016)

Impression: I can see why this movie was controversial: there are a lot of drugs, and there is a lot of very explicit sex, and the movie is unapologetic about both. But it’s not frivolous. There is a statement being made. Leah is young and somewhat naive and curious, and willing to try anything and she unwittingly gets herself involved in the criminal underworld whose rules she does not understand. The movie is not glorifying any of this, but is very brutally realistic about the kind of consequences her actions can have (and do in this movie) for someone like her and the very different consequences that apply to others. She feels completely free to do whatever she wants, take the kind of drugs she wants, have sex with whoever she wants. And it’s not that there are no personal consequences for her complete sense of freedom, there are, and they are brutal.  But as the last scene illustrates, she can just continue with the life she had planned. The consequences for Blue, her Puerto Rican drug-dealing boyfriend, are different, and arguably more final. The movie is filmed with a lot of very tight close-ups, and you get to know Leah’s face in such intimate detail, that it’s almost uncomfortable. It was very well acted, and I was surprised that the actor who played Blue had never acted before.  Chris Noth was amazing as the sleazy lawyer.  I loved the use of very bright sunshine and slightly overexposed film that accentuated the happy moments, and the kind of blissful ignorance of any consequences which Leah feels.  And the way those end abruptly when reality catches up with her a number of times throughout the film. Beyond the shock value and the controversy, I think this is actually a very well made and thought provoking film.

Facts: A young college student in New York during her summer break gets into drugs and sex. Lots of it.