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1 hr. 47 min.

Plot Summary
Using the 1950 Gary Cooper film "Bright Leaf" as a starting point, director Ross McElwee thoroughly dissects the controversial and highly profitable tobacco industry. McElwee, whose great-grandfather made and subsequently lost a fortune in tobacco after creating the brand Bull Durham, also explores his own roots in the industry. The film includes interviews with people on whom tobacco has had a major impact, from lung cancer patients and cigarette smokers to industry insiders.

Cast: Ross McElwee , Charleen Swansea ,

Director: Ross McElwee

Genres: Documentary

Distributor: Rézo Films

Bright Leaves (2003)

Release Date: May 23rd, 2003|1 hr. 47 min.

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critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 100
    Carla Meyer San Francisco Chronicle

    Bright Leaves' takes on a sizable foe -- in this case, big tobacco -- but with such grace and wit that his message never seems medicinal. show more

  • 75
    Carrie Rickey Philadelphia Inquirer

    It's a gently provocative film diary about tobacco and its mixed legacy. show more

  • 75
    Jack Mathews New York Daily News

    This might have come off as both self-indulgent and preachy if McElwee weren't so persuasively earnest. "Bright Leaves" becomes both a mystery and memoir in progress and though the filmmaker does not find the truth he is looking for, it was clearly a quest worth undertaking. show more

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