This movie has become a holiday tradition in our home, a short documentary by George King about the Townsends, a family that opens its Elvis loving God-fearing home to their Atlanta neighbors, and we get to meet everyone from Grandma Margaret, who loves the King so much that she has a Fantasy Room with lit-up black velvet paintings and Gloria, who flirts in line and shows off the ring her ex-husband gave her but she’s not getting back together with him. Then there’s Raymond, keeping order outside and telling people to not make any backtalk while fully strapped with a gun and plenty of seasonal goodwill.
The family has been asked to leave Atlanta for Charlotte, NC and you wonder why. Is it because thousands of people line up outside their house every Christmas? Could it be that they told visitors that the power company will give you back the money you spent lighting up your house? Who can say.
What I love is that everyone smokes, non-stop, even when they’re making cookies or a Nativity with a candy Jesus that someone is going to eat. Yet what I love the most is that this movie never makes fun of them or calls them rednecks or denigrates the South. They’re good people who open their home to others and give a part of themselves that other families can take home with them. Even on their last night, they’re giving the lights away and trying to part with some of the decorations. You can say that this is kitsch and look down on these folks, but that makes you the fool.
This movie makes my holiday season right.
You can watch this on the best movie YouTube channel there is, White Slaves of Chinatown 3D.