Alabama in 1969. Jim Caldwell has just learned of his ex-wife’s death. Many years ago, she left him and their three children for an Englishman. Now, her bereaved husband and her two children from this marriage have come to America to fulfill the deceased’s last wish to be buried in the land of her birth. This brings together the two fathers and the half-brothers and sisters. Jim is a typical member of an authoritarian generation who has been a fair if undemonstrative father to his children. Not only does he have to cope with the escapades of his two sons – one a wounded Vietnam veteran obsessed with his collection of cars and the other a drugged-up anti-war protester – he also has to put up with his uninvited British guests.
In his first film since his directorial debut Daddy and Them (2001) Oscar-winning actor Billy Bob Thornton tells the story of a clash between two male protagonists from different cultures at a time when the Vietnam protests reached America’s southern states. This film marks Russian producer Alexander Rodnyansky’s first English-language project, his V Subbotu having screened in the Berlinale’s Competition programme in 2011. –Berlinale
One of Hollywood’s few celebrators of the “Southern bad boy” image, country musician turned actor-screenwriter-director Billy Bob Thornton consistently engenders a reputation — via chosen onscreen parts and fervent tabloid reports of his allegedly wild off-camera life — as an iconoclastic American hellraiser with lightning in his veins. But appearances can deceive, for Thornton also reveals depth and complexity as one Hollywood’s most articulate interviewees, graced with intelligent, sensitive observations, cultural allusions, and poignant reflections on his experiences as a thespian and film artist. Moreover, this acute insight evidences itself equally in Thornton’s craftsmanship as a screenwriter and director. Though his behind-the-camera projects have become increasingly rare over time, his few directorial outings evince surprising control, refinement, insight, and taste.
Born in Hot Springs, AR, on August 4, 1955, Thornton grew up dirt poor in the nearby backwoods community… read more
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