‘Oxyana’ Lights up Big Screen at Tribecca, Draws Criticism in WV - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

‘Oxyana’ Lights up Big Screen at Tribecca, Draws Criticism in WV

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A documentary chronicling the drug problem in Oceana is called into question by some of its residents.

‘Oxyana' took home top honors at the Tribeca Film Festival last week, but the film's debut was not as well received by residents.

With babies crawling through barbwire and dark shadow cast, resident D.J. Morgan said the film is more reminiscent of a scene from the Walking Dead than the town he calls home.

"We want to give people a chance to see the real Oceana, showcase how we really are which is not what this documentary portrays," said Morgan.

He's hosting a town hall with Pastor Randy Bowles and Councilman Jim Cook to address what he calls gross misrepresentations of his town in the film.

"We want to accomplish two things. We want to give people a chance to see the real Oceana, showcase how we really are which is not what this documentary portrays. Secondly, there is a problem with prescription pills in a lot of small Appalachian communities and we want to work with local, state, and national leaders to effectuate change," adds Morgan.  

Cook also took issue with the way the town was represented in the film --- painting Oceana as the unofficial OxyContin capitol of the world, with the majority of residents addicted to the pharmaceutical drug.

"We do have a drug problem, like the majority of towns in America, but not to the extent he would lead you to believe. He paints a dismal and bleak view of the entire town and all its residents but I believe Oceana is a great place with great people and I would encourage residents to pull together and use their frustration over this to work with town officials to make Oceana an even better place."

Cook is joined by Bowles who is the pastor of Oceana Church of God, one of at least 13 churches in the area.

"Oceana is a rural community in the heart of Applachia with some of the hardest working people in America and they make up the majority of our community's estimated 2,500 citizens in the Oceana Area. They consist of blue collar & white collar people working in various industries including but not limited to, Mining & their support industries, Retail & Sales, The Food Service Industry, City Depts such Street Maintenance, Water & Waste Management, Law Enforcement Officers, Educators, Coaches, Nurses, Physician Assistants, Dr.'s, Lawyers, Physical Therapists, USPS employees, Techinicians from every field and list could go on and on! These people are the ones who were defamed and misrepresented by this one-sided unbalanced sensationalized portrayal of our community," said Bowles.

The town hall is scheduled for May 31st at City Hall in Oceana. 

 

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