What would you say if I told you a 15-year-old boy from Detroit sold drug for the federal government and lived to tell the tale? You would say it was a made up Hollywood movie right? It is a Hollywood movie, but far from made up. Richard Wershe, Jr. is know as the youngest FBI informant in history, was a drug dealer who mastered and manipulated the very system that left him hanging out to dry and sentenced to life.
White Boy Rick isn’t any different from the stories you see on the news about numerous men of color going to prison…except the person going to prison and being betrayed by the forces in society meant to protect him this time is a white dude.
Yann Demange is the perfect person to direct such a film, as he is not American and has no pre-conceived bias. Born in Paris, raised in London and never having approached a biopic, Demange’s lens was less clouded than other filmmakers in his lane who who’ve approached this true-story.
Yet, the unique storytelling perspective that Yann brings to White Boy Rick focuses on the familial unit. Father and Son. Father and Daughter. Focusing on the gritty, unglamorous perspective of watching a father save his daughter out of a crack house kicking and screaming. Focusing on how even though Johnny Curry controls the city through his various illegal activities, he serves as the “father” of a community that involves his cronies, Rick Jr. and even his wife (who is the Mayor of Detroit’s daughter).
Dreams come in all colors, shapes and sizes from all lanes of people in life. The Wershe’s dreamt of a world where money flowed, drugs were a non-entity and life would resemble a Dickens novel.
Be not the lookout for interviews from Yann Damange, Matthew McConaughey (Rick Wershe, Sr., Jonathan Majors (Johnny ‘Lil Man’ Curry), Bel Powley (Dawn Wershe)and Richie Merritt (Rick Mershe, Jr). In the meantime, judge for yourself as White Boy Rick hits theaters TODAY – September 14th.