Winner of the top prize at the Tribeca Film Festival, contemporary Southern gothic Burning Cane heralds 19-year-old director Phillip Youmans as a serious new talent.
Dir-Scr Phillip Youmans
Prod Wendell Pierce, Mose Mayer, Ojo Akinlana, Karen Kaia Livers, Cassandra Youmans, Phillip Youmans
With Wendell Pierce, Karen Kaia Livers, Dominique McClellan
Helen stalks through her farm with a cleaver in one hand, cigarette in the other, running through the various treatments she’s tried for her dog’s mange. Her recently unemployed son Daniel pushes beer and whiskey on his own child. And the local preacher (Wendell Pierce) remains in denial about the malice forming an increasingly powerful undertow to his sermons. As alcohol and melancholy suffuse this Louisiana family and their pastor, a woozy portrait emerges – one of characters living in lows they cannot transcend. Creating a poetic film language that prizes sensory experience, Phillip Youmans never judges his characters, and it’s this observational gaze, and the bleak truths he excavates, that are earning him favourable comparisons to Terrence Malick, RaMell Ross and William Faulkner.