FILM: CANE RIVER

1982 / drama, romance / 1h 44min / directed by Horace Jenkins / country: USA / language: English

Coming Soon
Friday, 3/20

“The 1982 romantic drama was the first and only feature directed by Horace B. Jenkins, an Emmy-winning documentarian and public television director whose credits included “Tony Brown’s Journal” and “Sesame Street.” Independently bankrolled by a wealthy Louisiana family of mortuary owners, the film was made with an all-black cast and crew, most of them working in their positions for the first time. The story goes that Richard Pryor had attended the New Orleans gala premiere in disguise, with the intention of buying the movie and bringing it to Warner Bros., but he couldn’t reach a deal with the financers. Days later, Jenkins was dead from a heart attack and the film thought lost forever… it’s a vital artifact from a lost part of film history, a tantalizing glimpse of a nascent black independent cinema movement that almost was.”
Sean Burns, WBUR 90.9

“…Relaxed, reflective and sweet, a romance shadowed by the complexities of history, race and politics that manages to be both modest and ambitious. The modesty is partly a matter of circumstances — “Cane River” was a low-budget, independent production shot on two locations in Louisiana, Natchitoches Parish and New Orleans — and partly a matter of style. Pursuing a plot that revolves around the fraught courtship of Peter (Richard Romain) and Maria (Tommye Myrick), Jenkins is more mellow than melodramatic, lingering over quiet moments and lovely landscapes rather than pushing the story from crisis to crisis.”
A.O. Scott, The New York Times

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