by Kathia Woods
The Black Church, Toxic masculinity and alcoholism these are the themes that are examined in first time directors Philip Youmans drama Burning Cane. This moving piece of Cinema centers around
The Black Church the role it plays in the survival of Black People. It also pulls back on the image of the Church and all the things involved to maintain attendance.
Wendell Pierce is outstanding as Reverend Tillman. On the pulpit he is the spiritual healer ready to unleash the word that will help his congregation make it through another week however away from the church he’s a man in crisis.
Another notable Dominque McClellan as Daniel Wayne is everything that’s troublesome in our community. He is a man that resents his wife being the breadwinner and a father that bonds with his son in the most troublesome of ways.
What makes Burning Cane so compelling is that Youmans isn’t afraid to tackle the secrets and to challenge faith. He utilizes a slow pace and dark/tight cinematography to lure us into the chaos.
We the viewer aren’t always sure what were watching but were intrigued enough to want to see more.
It’s refreshing in 2019 to see a director especially a black director tackles the symbolisms of the Black Church. After all we are taught from birth that prayer will heal all. Burning Cane shows that even those giving us the good word struggle with faith. This is what makes this movie such a conversation piece
We had the pleasure of discussing Burning Cane with director Philip Youmans at Tribeca Film Festival where we discussed all the above and more.