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Citizen Shane (2004)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 2004 (USA)
Adult businesses in Lowndes County, Mississippi (the "Buckle of the Bible Belt") are being unfairly harassed by local law enforcement. Record label owner Shane Ballard, 22, plans to change ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Shane Ballard ...
Himself
Aaron Dunn ...
Himself
...
Himself (voice)
Warren Dearman ...
Himself
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Storyline

Adult businesses in Lowndes County, Mississippi (the "Buckle of the Bible Belt") are being unfairly harassed by local law enforcement. Record label owner Shane Ballard, 22, plans to change that. He is a Republican candidate for sheriff. This documentary follows Ballard on and off the campaign trail during his controversial bid for public office. Along the way, we learn about his strange music, his even stranger hobbies, and his friendship with Charles Manson. We also discover some unsettling truths about his mother's mysterious death in Lowndes County. Can an obscene, porn-loving political unknown change minds in a small southern town? If anyone can, it's "Citizen Shane". Written by Anonymous

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Meet Shane Ballard. He's running for sheriff of Lowndes County, Mississippi.

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Documentary

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Not Rated
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2004 (USA)  »

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$4,000 (estimated)
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Did You Know?

Connections

References The Benny Hill Show (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

No Highway Blues
Written by Ron Tibbett
Performed by The Dawn Barham Band
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User Reviews

 
A nice little documentrary-portrait of "some freak"
28 February 2006 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

This is a portrait of someone who would be classified in this society as a Freak. Shane Ballard loves violence, pornography, Hitler, serial killers (enough?). He likes to provoke. He wants to "shake things" and "wake people up". This film don't stay only in the surface: The scenes where Ballard talks about his childhood (he never saw his father and his mother, who was also never there, died "mysteriously" when he was 8) give some perspective and something to think.

The telephone conversation with Charles Manson, where he (Manson) sings his song and talks with Ballard and the pictures of Manson come towards the viewer, that might be the strongest scene in the film, at least for anybody who knows something about Manson. (It's quite long, maybe 10 minutes.) It's very interesting and simple example of (documentary) film making where the character makes almost the whole scene and atmosphere, and the director and editor just follow and back him up. It's very scary when you notice, after a nice and "normal" beginning, how in some point of the "discussion" Manson starts to manipulate the listener (=Ballard). And you can also hear how he succeeds. I don't know is there this kind of material about Manson elsewhere, I'm not so familiar with this area, but I would assume this film/scene is very interesting to Manson "fans". And to others also.

It's hard to say is this documentary "important" in any way: Does it say anything about this society for example? I don't know, but it's what it is: A portrait of one person. It's not very positive or happy film. It's also sad when you think that this guy killed himself after this. And of course it's sad (and little bit scary) to know that there is very much of this kind of people (who for example adore serial killers) existing all the time. (If I'm honest, I would assume that these people almost never really DO any of these sick things they watch films or read about: The people who DO NOT read and watch these films, but still has the same kind of violent urges and frustrations inside them, are the people who commit crimes in reality.) There are also some scenes that you might consider funny (the night of the election votes counting.) But should everything be so totally light and easy anyway? It's (almost) the only documentary I've seen that portrays this type of person. Nick Broomfield's "Kurt and Courtney" might be atmospherically closest (I've seen) to this. It takes place among similar kind of people and culture.

You can download this movie from Subcin.com/shane.html: Shane Ballard himself gave the movie there to download for free, just days before his death.


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