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Ballast (2008)

Not Rated | | Drama | 19 January 2008 (USA)
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A drama set in the Mississippi delta, where one man's suicide affects three people's lives.

Director:

Lance Hammer

Writer:

Lance Hammer
17 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Micheal J. Smith Sr. ... Lawrence
JimMyron Ross ... James
Tarra Riggs ... Marlee
Johnny McPhail ... John
Ventress Bonner Ventress Bonner ... Teen
Jimez Alexander Jimez Alexander ... Teen
Jean Paul Guillory Jean Paul Guillory ... Teen
Marcus Alexander Marcus Alexander ... Teen
Marquice Alexander Marquice Alexander ... Teen
Lawrence Jackson Lawrence Jackson ... Teen
Jeremy Jordan ... Paramedic
Steve Cabell Steve Cabell ... Paramedic
Sam Dobbins ... Ambulance Driver
Neil Pettigrew Neil Pettigrew ... Dispatcher (voice)
Sanjib Shrestha Sanjib Shrestha ... Dr. Shrestha
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Storyline

A single mother and her embattled son struggle to subsist in a small Mississippi Delta township. An act of violence thrusts them into the world of an emotionally devastated highway store owner, awakening the fury of a bitter and longstanding conflict. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 January 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Balast See more »

Filming Locations:

Mississippi, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,572, 5 October 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$76,211, 7 December 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alluvial Film Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

I'll Wait For Jesus
Traditional
Arranged by Clora T. Handy & Ann Nichols
Performed by The Canton Gospel Chorus
Courtesy of Talk of the Town Records
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User Reviews

 
Finely directed modern American drama
30 March 2008 | by raseczSee all my reviews

This is very much a modern American drama. Though issues such as drugs, gangs, broken family relations, violent poorly managed schools, unemployment, and financial breakdowns play a role in steering the lives of the principal characters, the primary emotion is sorrow. The suicide of a twin brother is the trigger that brings three characters -- the brother of the victim, the ex-wife and son -- to clash.

Given the fine performances of the three principals and the supporting cast, it is hard to believe that those roles are played by non-professionals. The director picked them from the local population, deep in the Mississippi Delta. Certainly there is talent here, the woman especially. But credit is due to the director who expertly calibrated the acting, mixing the right doses of melancholy, anger and disappointment. The same can be said of the environment. The wintry landscape with its scattered naked trees, resting agricultural land, and gray skies add to a sense of continual sadness.

Thankfully the director spared us from a musical track. The sounds are natural. The light as much. The plot linear. The Dogma rulebook applied.

The end is abrupt. The beginning is almost as abrupt. The past can be guessed. The future is an open question as it carries conflicting emotions. How you choose to continue the story in your mind depends on whether you are an optimist or a pessimist.


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