Bright Leaves
Bright Leaves (2004)

American filmmaker Ross McElwee travels to his home state of North Carolina for the humorous documentary Bright Leaves. In his trademarked rambling style, McElwee lightly questions his family's role in the tobacco industry. Following… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: August 25, 2004
DVD Release Date: June 21, 2005
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Critic Score: 86% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: A rich, eccentric documentary about both filmmaking and the tobacco industry.

Manuel Mendoza
Dallas Morning News

Bright Leaves is not the kind of film that would use in its anti-smoking campaign.

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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune

Bright Leaves is a beguiling film. Watching it is like spending time with an old, somewhat chatty but endearing friend.

Louis Proyect

Classic McElwee blending together the personal and the political in his native North Carolina, to which he something of the same ambivalent relation that Faulkner, another son of the South, had to Mississippi.

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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer

A gently provocative film diary about tobacco and its mixed legacy.

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

It's a meandering visit by a curious man with a quiet sense of humor.

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Ron Reed
Christianity Today

This is a highly personal journey, reminiscent of a smart, sardonic personal essay you might find in Harper's magazine or a quirky, savvy radio piece on NPR's 'This American Life.'

Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

McElwee's best film since Sherman's March.

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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune

McElwee's autobiographical films ... are leisurely jaunts with a gentle humor that never mocks his subjects.

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Frank Swietek
One Guy's Opinion

Touches on serious matters with a sly, self-deprecating sense of humor that makes receiving its messages a pleasure rather than a chore.

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