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White Water

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2015

"White Water" is a touching coming-of-age drama directed by Rusty Cundieff, released in 2015. Set in the 60s in rural Alabama, it tells the story of Michael (played by Spencer Salmon), an eight-year-old white boy whose father has recently passed away. Michael befriends and becomes fascinated by the local traveling carnival's only Black worker, a man named Booker T. (played by Larenz Tate). Michael is not sensitive to the racial divide of the time, so he is perplexed by the treatment that Booker T. receives, and he can't understand why he isn't allowed to play with his new friend. As their bond grows, Booker T. decides to teach Michael how to swim after discovering he has never learned due to the segregated local pool. As they secretly sneak into the all-black swim hole nearby, Michael learns that his ignorance of inequality has harmed his family, causing him to grapple with the reality of life for Black people in the South. Storm Reid, who played Meg in the critically acclaimed "A Wrinkle in Time," plays Michael's schoolmate and love interest, Mae. Sharon Leal, who is known for "Addicted", plays Michael's mother, who is forced to deal with her own feelings of grief and loneliness while raising a young son. Throughout the film, "White Water" touches upon the right to learn, the value of friendship, and most importantly, the love between two people regardless of race. In the face of segregation, poverty, and hardship, Michael learns from Booker T's wisdom and strength, becoming a better person and building his own values from those experiences. One of the unique aspects of the movie is the way it presents the setting. Although it is set in the 60s, the director avoids a ton of clichés and presents an almost entirely different side of the South. Rusty Cundieff, the director of this movie, also directed "Chappelle's Show," so it's unsurprising that he chooses to present even the darker scenes of the story with a light touch. There's no sense of judgment or preachiness in the movie; instead, it seeks to exemplify the impact that the world can have on you once you become more aware of it. Ultimately, "White Water" is an excellent reminder of the importance of respecting each other's humanity. Race should never define who our friends are or the life we choose to live. It's a message that resonates just as much today as it did in the 60s, and "White Water" expertly portrays it while being easily enjoyed by audiences of all ages.

White Water is a TV Movie, Drama movie released in 2015. It has a runtime of 84 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.0..

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7.0/10
Director
Rusty Cundieff
Stars
Storm Reid, Larenz Tate, Sharon Leal
Also starring Storm Reid
Also starring Sharon Leal
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