As if this week's cover story wasn't enough, the Indy will be posting reviews, previews and interviews throughout the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. First up: American Juggalo, a 23-minute film directed by Sean Dunne, playing Saturday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m., at the Crystal Theatre.
The series of Insane Clown Posse fans interviewed in American Juggalo have two things in common. They all cite unconditional acceptance as the thing they like best about being a Juggalo and, two, they all seem to suffer some sort of cognitive disability. To watch a pregnant woman smoke while the shirtless twentysomethings around her chant “family! family!” is to confront a fundamental human dilemma. People should do things that make them happy and increase camaraderie with their fellow people. Also, some people are hilariously awful and dumb.
The genius of American Juggalo is that it does not attempt to reconcile these two fundamental truths. It simply records them, in a series of minimally edited medium shots of weirdos explaining why they came to the Gathering of the Juggalos. They range from a young woman with obvious fetal alcohol syndrome rhapsodizing about Violent J to a kid who wants to be a doctor because what he really likes is helping people. Undeniably, these people are funny; they wear clown makeup, for chrissake. They are also amiable, proud, self-conscious, awkward, self-aggrandizing, often medically stupid—in other words, human and recognizably so, in a way that makes for gripping cinema.
- Review by Dan Brooks