Vivienne Perry: The Changin ‘Times of Ike White’ attempts to “discern between truth and the protagonist’s imagination”

Vivienne Perry, producer of The Changin ‘Times of Ike White, by Dan Vernon

19/10/2019.-‘The Changin ’Times of Ike White’ started today (Saturday 19, Oct.) the competition in the Festival’s Time of History section. The film shows the life of talented musician Ike White, who managed to get out of jail thanks to an album he recorded while serving a sentence for murder. The musician made an extraordinary journey from life behind bars to stardom in the music industry before disappearing from the scene

After a very complex search that involved long hours tracking his trail, filmmaker Daniel Vernon and producer Vivienne Perry found Ike White’s whereabouts and decided to tell his story. Vivienne, who travelled to Valladolid to present the film, pointed out that “recreating the life story of Ike White involved an intricate search: we tracked down a trail of several women and false identities that left as many questions as answers.” The producer said that she first heard the music of Ike White in 2012, became obsessed with “his incredible success story in jail” and decided to trace his whereabouts. 18 months later she found the man.

The film tries to “discern what really happened from what was simply in the character’s imagination.” She and Vernon changed their filming approach as they discovered more facts about White’s life. In fact Vivienne Perry’s own relationship with the musician changed during the making of the film, but the real turning point was the death of Ike White two weeks after he was interviewed.

The question was “why did he take his own life when he was so keen on telling his story?” The investigation heavily hinges on the consequences of the first phase of the artist’s life, and how these drove him to continually change his identity and affected his functioning as a person.

The producer puts the fatal outcome down to the fact that “he was not able to handle his situation, perhaps he felt freer in jail.” Ike White continued long behind bars, “even when he had already left prison: he was still imprisoned,” added the producer, who believes that this film is “just a very small piece of his life story: perhaps it raises more questions than answers.”

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