Stranger Says: Too many critics have associated this startling work by a 19-year-old NYU film student, Phillip Youmans, with the films of Terrence Malick. But we can do better than that. If we really think about these brutally beautiful images of rural black life in the South, we find a much closer association with the films of the Mexican director Carlos Reygadas. His masterpiece Silent Light exists in the same melancholy universe as Youmans’s Burning Cane, which, among others things, has a great performance by Hollywood star Wendell Pierce. He plays a rural pastor who, like the other main characters, has a soul burdened by those heavy, heavy blues. (CHARLES MUDEDE)
SIFF Says: Phillip Youmans, an 18-year-old filmmaker out of New Orleans, crafts this remarkable, Malick-esque drama set among the cane fields of rural Louisiana about a religious woman’s struggles between her faith and her troubled family.