Premiere Magazine
April 2000
Bound for Glory

Where do indie-film legends and rising stars alike go to grab the world's attention? To Park City, Utah, where the Sundance Film Festival makes, breaks, and shakes up careers. Here in this special portfolio and behind-the-scenes report, are the movies you'll be talking about this year and the performers who earned their stripes...

'Just, Melvin' In this searing documentary, James Ronald Whitney trains a klieg light on his family's darkest corners. For years, his step grandfather, accused murderer Melvin Just, sexually abused Whitney's mother, Ann (pictured here with Ron), her sisters and half-sisters, and children from his second marriage. Now many of these women are trapped in cycles of alcoholism and homelessness. "Melvin Just will be blamed forever," says Ann, who escaped at age 15 to become a nanny but was suicidal for years. "I didn't realize that it had to do with the residue of abuse," Ron says, "and the guilt, knowing that her sisters were still being molested." ...As her reward, she got to see her son confront Just on camera..."That was the best therapy," she says. "I couldn't have done it, because I know how to load a gun now."
                                              -- John Horn and Sean M. Smith
                                                  Photographed by Jake Chessum

DIRECTOR'S FILMS: GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: New York, GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: Hollywood, Telling Nicholas, Just, Melvin,
Find out more about James Ronald Whitney's movies at the Fire Island Production's Web site
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© 2003 James Ronald Whitney