Billy the Kid

Dir: Jennifer Venditti, 2008. Starring: Billy Price. Documentary.
Billy the Kid

"I know I’m unique. I don’t let it go to my head, though. I’m just someone who was born different than others. I’m not black, not white, not foreign. I’m just different in the mind."

Meet Billy Price. Not your average 15 year-old high school-student. Everyone knows Billy, but no one really knows him. Billy is the guy that sits in the cafeteria by himself. He’s the one that looks a little bit funny. He talks funny. Billy has dreams of becoming the Terminator or even Gene Simmons. Most would consider Billy to be overly sensitive or even a bit socially inept. Personally, I think he’s just misunderstood.

Billy lives in a mobile home with his mother in Lisbon Falls, Maine. The first thing we learn about Billy is that he is extremely protective of his mother, as he believes it is a “sin” to harm a woman. Billy’s mother loves him unconditionally and wants the best for her child. He hates terrorism and he loves KISS, Van Halen, and Disco. He’s also a purple belt who was inspired by the film The Karate Kid to study martial arts (this, unto itself, is my favorite thing about Billy).

When a 16 year-old beauty enters Billy’s life…or I should say, when Billy enters her life, his world is turned upside down. Heather Pelletier is the girl that works down at the local diner. She’s beautiful, sweet, and she’s almost 100 percent blind. But that doesn’t matter to Billy. His “heart beats like it’s going to burst” when he’s “attracted” to her. The problem, though, is that Billy becomes a bit overzealous when it comes to his newfound love and things end up taking a wrong turn.

For a documentary, one might not think that the life of a young misfit who goes through everything that everyone goes through at some point in their life is that great of a subject. But Jennifer Venditti’s illustration of a young man looking for his place in the world is simple, lyrical and, above all, touching.

Getting to know Billy and what goes through his mind is highly entertaining. Billy reveals himself to be a thoughtful, innocent, and endearing character who doesn’t conform to any ideology other than his own. In a youth culture driven by the Hannah Montanas and the Gossip Girls of the world, it’s refreshing to see someone playing by his own rules.

"I think the imagination world is better than the real world. Of course, there’s one difference… imagination ain’t real."

Posted by:
Travis King
Apr 16, 2009 2:33pm
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