arrow Browse alphabetically by: Title
arrow Documentary
arrow Fiction
arrow Family & Children
arrow Films about Faith
arrow Foreign
arrow LGBT
arrow Jewish Experience
arrow Midnight Movies
arrow New Releases
arrow Coming Soon
arrow Box Sets
arrow Gift Ideas
arrow Bestsellers
arrow Staff Picks
arrow Specials
arrow On iTunes
arrow Asia Society
arrow DEFA German Film Studio
arrow Human Rights Watch Selects
arrow Empire Pictures Collection


Bright Leaves

A Film by Ross McElwee

Regular Price: $17.95
Your Price: $8.98
You Save: 50%!


McElwee family legend has it that the Hollywood melodrama "Bright Leaf" starring Gary Cooper as a 19th century tobacco grower, is based on filmmaker Ross McElwee's great-grandfather, who created the 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.

"Many try to imitate but none can duplicate the documentary poetry of Ross McElwee, whose thoughtful, personal projects have always been grounded in autobiography. Bright Leaves is McElwee at his simultaneous deepest and lightest, digging at his family's roots on North Carolina's tobacco industry, and harvesting a rich (and sometimes richly funny) film about personal choices , about generational legacy- and also (always his signature) about his love of movies and his devotion to the craft of making them, a commitment he honors with the care he shows each person who faces his camera lens. This is mature, reverberating work from a homegrown, bighearted, quintessentially American documentarian" (Entertainment Weekly).

What the Critics are Saying

"An American humorist in a tradition from Mark Twain through Garrison Keillor"
-New York Times

"Brilliantly amusing. . . just sings along!" -Washington Post

"A fascinating diary-documentary!" -Time Magazine

"Beguiling and Irresistable!" -Los Angeles Times

"Illuminating, rousing!" -LA Weekly

"Deeply personal, morally alert, and highly entertaining!" -Christian Science Monitor

"Perhaps his best film. Raw and lovely!" -New York Magazine

"Captivating! A beautiful, wistful meditation on fate, family and filmmaking."
-O, Oprah Magazine

"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."
-Stephen Holden, The New York Times

Recommended Reading

Remembering North Carolina Tobacco by Billy Yeargin

Landscapes of the Self: The Cinema of Ross McElwee ed. Efren Cuevas and Alberto Garcia

Enough About You: Notes Toward the New Autobiography by David Shields and Ross McElwee

Features and Specifications

Bonus materials:
  • Film Notes
  • Director Biography
  • And more!

Format: DVD
Release Year : 2003
Running Time: 105 minutes + bonus materials
Color: Color
Language: English

Interested in this title? We also recommend

Light Keeps Me Company
The Ross McElwee DVD Collection
Sherman's March