Burning Cane 4.0 stars

Burning Cane movie poster

Beefy slices of life carved out of three characters in the outlands of Louisiana. Single mom Miss Helen (Karen Kaia Livers) — her husband died of AIDS — appears more determined in her efforts to prevent her dog from itching itself to death than she is in looking after her drunk, wife-beating son Daniel (Dominique McClellan). Then, smack dab in the middle of Reverend Tillman’s (Wendell Pierce) sweaty sermon, director Phillip Michael Youmans flashes forward to a shot of the Reverend receiving guidance from a flask on the drive home. (No matter how drunk he gets, the good Lord will keep him safe.) Next, it’s a rite of passage: letting your son take his first foamy sip of beer. Daniel gives his son a couple of pulls off a whiskey bottle. This gritty, debut feature from 19-year-old Youmans is nothing if not ambitious, particularly in its depiction of seemingly helpless female characters. Dark lighting to supplant meaning and some pay-attention-to-me camerawork can distract from the realism, but not enough to diminish the overall power of the piece. 2019.

Scott Marks

Showtimes

Digital Gym Cinema

2921 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, 619-230-1938 | Directions

Wednesday, November 13

11:00am, 7:05pm

Thursday, November 14

3:05pm, 8:55pm

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