A regular churchgoer, Helen (Karen Kaia Livers) lives and works in rural Louisiana. Honest and brave, she has to cope with the fact that her son is consumed by alcoholism and violence, while she can barely see her grandson who is neglected. She tries to find solace in her local Baptist church where she listens to the galvanizing sermons of Rev. Tillman (Wendell Pierce). However, the pastor himself – depressed by the inexorable events in his life – seeks refuge in alcohol and turns a deaf ear to Helen’s attempts to help him. Without anyone to comfort her and subjected to the twists of fate, Helen has to face yet another life challenge and take a decision that will have heavy consequences, one way or another.
At only 19 years old, filmmaker Phillip Michael Youmans (who also wrote the script and acted as director of photography) took the film community by surprise with this mature and raw drama, shot with elegance, beauty and a quiet force that are so rare for a debut feature. Harsh, heartrending and haunting, the film addresses serious themes such as faith, violence, guilt and alcoholism. It also explores the emotions and the very souls of characters who are feeling adrift. Burning Cane features stellar performances from its cast, including Wendell Pierce, in the role of the tormented reverend, who was nominated at the Independent Spirit Awards and won Best Actor at the Tribeca Festival where the film has received the awards for Best Cinematography and Best Narrative Feature. Without a doubt, the indie revelation of this year’s edition!
2019: Tribeca Film Festival – Best Narrative Feature, best actor and best Cinematography
2019: Independent Spirit Awards – Nominated for Best Supporting Male and John Cassavetes Award
Runtime: 78 min
Direction: Phillip Michael Youmans
Screenplay: Phillip Michael Youmans
Cinematography: Phillip Michael Youmans
OST: Kevin Gullage
Cast: Wendell Pierce, Karen Kaia Livers, Dominique McClellan
Language: 7/03 VOSC | 8/03 VOSE
Subtitles: CA: Savinen | ES: Albert Vilalta
Contact: Phillip Michael Youmans