Set in the here-and-now Mississippi Delta, Lance Hammer's Ballast follows a trio of characters -- a man in crisis and a single mother trying to keep ahead of disaster and her rootless son -- in a very American setting with a very European sensibility. It is one that evokes the Dardenne brothers, where the camera is hand-held but the emotions are kept at arm's length. Hammer spoke with Cinematical at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival about his decision to work with non-professional actors, the news that Ballast will be playing at this year's Berlin Film Festival, and what drew him to the Mississippi Delta for his debut: 'There's a sadness that lays upon the land (in the Delta) that's very moving to me. "
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