Brother's Keeper

Tenth Anniversary Edition. 1992

Director: Joe Berlinger

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

People come out of this film with impressions that are not true because it is either badly edited or edited to mislead.

People come away believing the wacky old Ward brothers were socially retarded hermits, but in fact they had other family, a few close friends, & daily trips to town. People come away willing to believe the old boys lived like Victorian farmers with no modern amenities & no electricity, but they ran their farm in a modern manner with decent farm equipment & came back to their little house each evening in time to watch Matlock on the television.

That they were a mite odd is certainly true, that the press & television at the time portrayed them as weird old hillbillies living in an unheated tarpaper shack buggering each other until one of 'em committed a hillbilly murder is certainly an attitude maintained for public consumption.

But they were nowhere near as odd or depraved as the news tried to make them out at the time. Because the film "objectively" never distinguishes between the myths about the Wards & the actual Wards, viewers can hold on to prejudiced myths about rural people if they want, but if anyone is actually paying attention to who was actually & specifically being filmed, most everyone has an uncle lots odder than these old ducks.

I disliked the aspect of the documentary that lacked clarity in these matters, & having seen many other commentaries completely misinformed by the film just proves to me the film failed to do its job quite well enough.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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