Cinematic Convergence

The 11th Annual Austin Film Festival

Cinematic Convergence

Tobacco Money Feeds My Family

D: Cynthia Hill

While tobacco money doesn't feed director Cynthia Hill's family, it used to. As we learn when she revisits her hometown of Pink Hill, N.C., it feeds many of the families there still – though the number dwindles as the politically unpopular crop suffers government-mandated quota cuts year after year. Hill's narration strikes a balance between her childhood memories – the smell of the tobacco plant, the way the school year only started once the harvest was in – and her concerns over the health risks of smoking, an activity paradoxically considered sinful by her family. While the film moves as slowly as a Sunday evening stroll, it finds sure footing in the exploration of these contradictions, which still dominate this town in the midst of economic crisis. "We're a dying breed," says one longtime farmer who must find a second job. He ends up at the local funeral home – the only other major business in town.

Saturday, Oct. 16, 2pm, and Monday, Oct. 18, 7pm at the Hideout

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