January 24, 2000

"With painstaking detail, director James Ronald Whitney does an amazing job telling the story of his abusive grandfather, Melvin Just... "Just, Melvin" is receiving a tremendous amount of praise around Park City and deservedly so."
                                                                 -- Joal Ryan

The Buzz - Making art from pain.
"Sundance documentary filmmaker confronts an abusive past in "Just, Melvin"
January 27, 2000

"If not for one small detail, director James Ronald Whitney's "Just, Melvin" might simply be a powerful feature about the continuing circle of violence that stems from one man's (Melvin Just) repeated sexual assaults on several generations of children. If not one small detail: Melvin Just is Whitney's grandfather. Whitney, who prefers to go by his middle name of Ron, came from a very different place than most Hollywood film makers. The 36-year-old former Chippendales dancer turned Wall Street executive made the film to expose his grandfather's crimes and hopefully bring some sort of peace to the extended family he so terribly effected... With such a weighty topic, one might expect the film to be a start-to-finish downer. While the feature is extremely disturbing at points, Whitney had no interest or intention of making a film without humor. "Education is not what I'm into," he says. "Entertainment is what I'm into... " Vowing to continue his project until his grandfather was either dead or in prison, Whitney reached his goal (go see the film to discover which option came through) and in doing so, gave his family something to hold on to."
-- Jim Bartoo

DIRECTOR'S FILMS: GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: New York, GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: Hollywood, Telling Nicholas, Just, Melvin,
Find out more about James Ronald Whitney's Productions at the Fire Island Films website
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