Amherst Man's Father Featured in 'Lawless'
Amherst, VA - A major Hollywood movie released Wednesday called "Lawless" chronicles the moon shining business in Franklin County. But one Amherst man planning to see it will be watching with a critical eye.
Bobby Bondurant's father is Jack Bondurant, the main character in the film played by Shia LeBeouf.
In the movie, Jack and his two brothers were successful bootleggers during the great depression. But when crooked cops try to get in on their profits, things go south.
Bobby's mother, Bertha Minnix, is also featured in the film. Raised in a strict Mennonite family, Bertha eventually marries Jack Bondurant despite her father's wishes. She's played by Mia Wasikowska.
"My Daddy says you boys are the worst ever to hit Franklin," Bertha tells Jack in the movie's trailer.
Jack Bondurant is the slick-talking, suit-wearing, gun-toting younger brother who takes his family's small-scale moon shining operation into the big leagues.
But when a corrupt cop from Chicago tries to get in on the profits, the backwoods of Franklin County turns into the Wild, Wild West.
Far from the glare of Hollywood, a retired Game Warden in Amherst says the novel that the movie is based on is far from accurate.
"The whole family's not happy," Bobby Bondurant says from his modest, suburban home.
His great-nephew wrote the novel called "The Wettest County in the World."
"It's a shame they only wrote about the first 38 years of his life. They never wrote anything about the last 52. But, the last 52 would not have sold a book," Bondurant added.
Bobby says he was 12-years-old when his father got arrested, spent nine months in jail, and became a law abiding citizen. But he did hear stories, including one about a gunfight in Rocky Mount that left his father and uncle seriously injured.
"They shot my dad first. Then my uncle Forrest ran up there and when he did, they shot him in the stomach," Bondurant remembers.
Both men survived, raised families and now their years of lawlessness live on.