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This film describes a journey taken across the social, economic, and pyschological tobacco terrain of North Carolina by a native Carolian, whose great-grandfather created the famous tobacco known as "Bull Durham". "Bright Leaves" is a subjective, autobiographical meditation on the allure of cigarettes and their troubling legacy for the state of North Carolina. It's about loss and preservation, addiction and denial. And it's also about filmmaking - home movies, documentary, and fiction filmmaking - as the filmmaker fences with the legacy of an obscure Hollywood melodrama that is purportedly based on his great-grandfather's life. Bright Leaves explores the notion of legacy - what one generation passes down to the next - and how this can be a particularly complicated topic when the legacy under discussion is a Southern one and is tied to tobacco.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 57
- Fresh: 49
- Rotten: 8
- Average Rating: 7.4/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Inevitably poignant but also often amusing and always deeply touching, this film is likely to stick in one's memory for all its concerns, not just cigarettes.
Fresh: Bright Leaves is a beguiling film. Watching it is like spending time with an old, somewhat chatty but endearing friend.
Fresh: Like Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 and Spurlock's Super Size Me, McElwee's Bright Leaves takes on a sizable foe -- in this case, big tobacco -- but with such grace and wit that his message never seems medicinal.
Fresh: Where most documentaries offer us facts to hold on to, [McElwee's] are obsessed with the mystery of things we don't know and never will.
if you loved sherman's march....
Well that's a pretty big if. McElwee isn't for everyone, but if you enjoyed Sherman's March, you will not be disappointed by Bright Leaves
If You think All southerners are rednecks...
This is just typical political crap that make people that have raised tobacco for hundreds of years look like the devil. What this film does not mention is how many people all over the world depend on tobacco, especially in the north! Guess that doesn't make southerners stupid after all, just good business people!