Directed by Ross McElwee • Documentary • With Ross McElwee, Allan Gurganus, Paula Larke, Marilyn Levine, Emily Madison, Charlleen Swansea, Adrian McElwee, Tom McElwee • 2005 • 105 minutes
McElwee family legend has it that the Hollywood melodrama Bright Leaf starring Gary Cooper as a 19th century tobacco grower, is based on McElwee's great-grandfather who created the famous "Bull Durham" brand. Using this legacy as a jumping off point, McElwee reaches back to his roots in this wry, witty rumination on American History, the tobacco business, and the myth of cinema.
"Beguiling and Irresistable!"—Los Angeles Times
"By the end of this reflective, wise, often hilarious movie, you feel as though he has slapped a huge chunk of raw, palpitating life onto the screen. Bright Leaves leaves you feeling invigorated by the boundless curiosity, humor and high spirits of its creator."—The New York Times