North Carolina produces more tobacco than any other state in America. Bright Leaves describes a journey taken across the social, economic, and psychological tobacco terrain of North ... See full summary »
North Carolina produces more tobacco than any other state in America. Bright Leaves describes a journey taken across the social, economic, and psychological tobacco terrain of North Carolina by a native Carolinian, Ross McElwee, whose great-grandfather created the famous brand of tobacco known as Bull Durham. The comedic chronicle is a subjective, autobiographical meditation on the allure of cigarettes and their troubling legacy for the state of North Carolina. It's also a film about family history, addiction, denial, and filmmaking--as McElwee, noted director of Sherman's March, grapples with the legacy of an obscure Hollywood melodrama that is purportedly based on this curious man that was his great-grandfather. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
As time goes by, my father is beginning to seem less and less real to me in these images. Almost a fictional character. I want so much to reverse this shift, the way in which the reality of him is slipping away. Having this footage doesn't help very much - or, at least, not as much as I thought it would.
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Too many beauty queens to be named here See more »
McElwee's witty and poignant voice-over makes this a beautiful piece about his family's history and the tobacco culture of North Carolina. I'm not quite sure what the previous reviewer is talking about. McElwee carefully and tastefully interviews his subjects and it is clear that he is not in any way being contemptuous or mocking them, rather it seems that the people he interviews are very much like he -- from the same place and background, and in my humble opinion, he shows them in a very sympathetic light. If you can find this film, you should definitely watch it. I have to admit that I am biased because I love his documentaries. If you like any of his films, you'll enjoy this one.
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