At the age of twenty-four, North Carolina native Billy Ray Suggs was convicted of importing and selling $25m worth of cocaine and sentenced to twenty-three years in prison. Now, at the age of sixty-nine, his day-to-day life may have become more wholesome—but his outlook is just as youthful and carefree.
“Billy has the agility of a young dog and his energy is contagious,” says German director Francisco Sendino who was struck by Billy’s vitality. This film project captures both the misdeeds of Billy’s youth and the exuberant activities that separate him from his peers, which includes rolling joints, pumping weights, training lifeguards and modelling—all while sporting a wide-brimmed cowboy hat and a diamond physique.
“With a steady push he maneuvers the ocean of life,” says the Berlin-based director. “It’s hard to say where the thrust comes from but it seems to be charged by a positive energy that sits deep within him.”
Shot on 16 mm Kodak Vision 3
Francisco Sendino Gonzalez
Dustin Schöne, Marie Niemann
Gerrit Klein, Daria Küpker
Daniel DeVue, A52