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Nate Dogg is a 16 year-old high school dropout suffering from severe ADHD, living in a trailer park and trying to support himself and his girlfriend. His poverty stricken world is filled with drug dealing, working menial construction jobs and a slew of people ready to take advantage of Nate, who nonetheless does what he can to be hard working and honest. Of course this kind of life eventually ends up with major problems, emotionally and otherwise.
The directorial debut of Thomas Farone uses a very unique style
in telling the true life story of Nathan Hale (AKA Nate Dogg). The film juxtaposes
interview-like narrative from Hale with dramatic sequences depicting various
aspects of his life such as dropping out of school, working as a construction
laborer, his involvement with drug dealers, his relationship with his girlfriend
and trouble with police. Nathan Hale plays himself, something which probably
took a lot of courage since his life seems so shitty and depressing. The film
pulls no punches in regards to violence and is quite brutal at times. Throughout
most of the movie, ambient low tones drone constantly which contribute greatly
to the overall bleak and depressive feeling the film conveys. One particularly
interesting thing the film covered is the fact that while Hale is an exceptional
artist (his drawings are displayed throughout the film) none of the people in
his life, from his girlfriend to his high school guidance counselor, encouraged
him to try to do something with his talent. While "Nate Dogg" is a
highly depressive film, it is done with sensitivity towards the subject that
I would not have thought possible. Farone and Hale did a spectacular job in
bringing a difficult and personal subject to the screen without taking it into
the realm of exploitation cinema. Of interest to metalheads is the fact that
Skinless contributed several songs to the movie, something even more interesting
as none of the characters of the film were into metal.