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Archive: Winter 2005

Bright Leaves

Special Guest: Director Ross McElwee to appear.

The Film and Video Center is excited to present the new film from highly acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ross McElwee (Sherman’s March, Time Indefinite). McElwee family legend has it that the Hollywood melodrama Bright Leaf, starring Gary Cooper as a 19th century tobacco grower, was based on McElwee’s great-grandfather. Using this legacy as a jumping off point, McElwee reaches back to his roots in Bright Leaves, a wry, witty rumination on American history, the tobacco business, and the myth of cinema. His unique, oftentimes hilarious approach opens up deeper questions about his boyhood home in North Carolina, his family, and the intersection of personal and social history.

McElwee started producing and directing documentaries in 1976. His body of work includes five feature-length documentaries as well as several shorter films--most of them shot in his homeland of the South. McElwee has been a visiting filmmaker at Harvard University for ten years and has been awarded fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

2003, US • 107 minutes • 35mm • Directed by Ross McElwee


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