Jesse’s review published on Letterboxd:
Another cinematic enigma here folks. Harmony Korine's directorial debut, Gummo, is one of the most audacious, provocative, and filthy films I've ever seen. I imagine the term "Water Trash" from Workaholics could be applied here. But to define Gummo as Water Trash is not really an insult. Korine certainly intends the film to be an experience nearly impossible to endure. While Gummo is definitely an unadulterated look at bottom of the barrel America, there is also a lot of beauty within the imagery and the cast of characters we meet. People who have been physically and mentally scarred by a tornado that swept through their small town, robbing them of what little livelihood they had; and yet, they aren't afraid to be who they are and stand up in the face of mother nature with a middle finger pointed directly at the heavens. There is something profoundly emotional in seeing humanity displayed in such a raw form. Granted, Gummo is fiction (Maybe?) but the world Harmony Korine observes with his camera feels so hauntingly real, that it feels invasive just watching it. This is art, whether you like it or not. Harmony Korine is an auteur of the highest form. An artist our generation may not even deserve. He points his lens at the darkest depths of humanity, or is that just what traditional society thinks of it? Personally, watching this and any other of his films, I feel a lot of joy in seeing people live their lives the way they want, seemingly happily. Whether its normal to me or not doesn't matter. Even though there is plenty of content in Gummo I would call sad, disgusting, or even vile; there is something about it that brings me some kind of happiness. Those final moments scored by Roy Orbison's "Crying" are so ungodly powerful that it moves me to tears every time.