Tobacco Burn – Short Film


1 tobacco burn poster

“Based on an oral history from the W.P.A. Writers, Tobacco Burn is set thirty-five years before the Civil War at the height of American slavery. The community of a tobacco farm struggles with the arrival of a brutal overseer.

2 tobacco burn - stephen tyrone williams

Decades before the Civil War, the actions of a brutal overseer spark the fire of revolution on a tobacco farm. When two of the enslaved weigh the complexities of killing their overseer, each develop a different understanding towards violence, acting on which could cost all of them their lives.”

3 tobacco burn silouettes in field CROP out bottom of poster

Seeing portrayals of white people and their utter disregard for respect for another human being. If they are black, they have not rights to dignity, nor for their own destiny. They must submit to the wishes and whims of the master. In this story, he seems to half try to be a gentleman. His overseer is leagues away from that description. He is a pig and takes what he feels deserving. Not something I feel is at all acceptable. He is the one who should be held accountable for his behavior. Bear that in mind as you watch each story develop.

4 tobacco burn 2nd poster shows tobacco

I have watched Tobacco Burn so many times a short while back and started writing my film review but I wasn’t ready to finish it. Too much to think about. My mind needed time to sort out just what to say to encourage everyone to see Tobacco Burn. It is a film of the times and a reminder of just how evil people can reach in their souls and not even allow for a glimpse to see how corrupt, sadistic, cruel and lazy they all were who were slave owners and those who benefited from the presence of slaves in the white culture. It became a way of life in the South, people being considered adornments of their property and prosperity. They were the white plantation owners’ property without any rights, not one.

5 tobacco burn black profile see the sunset through it

In Tobacco Burn, there are disturbing moments throughout. Some viewers may need to look away. I preferred to cheer and wonder if Hell exists for those special sadists who just didn’t care or give a thought to their contemptable and slimy behavior.

6 tobacco burn slaves standing at dusk or dawn in front of dead fire

I don’t want to give too much away. It is an important short film which feels like a huge film. It is history in an extremely ugly moment for the white man. There are so many in which to choose.

7 tobacco burn slaves in their living quarters

If this appeals to you, to see a certain justice, you should also try to see the new series Underground. Google for the online location where it can be viewed. I have seen the first two episodes. Never has something like Underground ever been done before now. It is brilliant to see slaves rebel against master, and try to accomplish what seems like an impossible feat to go from slave to Freedom. It is a deadly pursuit.

8 tobacco burn one of the female slaves

I know the story I was told of how white people treated black people in the time of slavery. Some things may have changed but I see too much violence against black people and other people of color. For black people, it feels like they are constantly being tested by authorities to prove they are legitimately free or are they still trying to escape and it’s the polices’ duty to bring them to justice with a bullet or a strangle hold or tear gas. When I heard about Trayvon Martin, I felt more than just angry. His murder opened up a window where the world could look in. I think those who are watching are growing. We have to stop the violence. Slavery ended. Stop trying to bring it back by incarcerating as many black people as the police want to and the system canhold.

9 tobacco burn slave portrait

Watch this film and watch Underground. Eyes will be opened to see strength burst forward. One can only bear their own brutality for so long. Peaceful Non-Violent Protest helps spread the word of good for the ones showing non-violence. Why does it seem Non-violence is too often met with mostly White men turning the hoses back on; metaphorically speaking.

10 tobacco burn slaves in yard waiting

Too many sadists exist in the world. Not being one, is a way to diminish the crowd. Watch out for those Neo-Nazi White Supremacists. They have the notion they’re in control, when in actuality, the world is becoming the color of the Rainbow and beyond. That’s the world I want to live in.

11 tabacco burn female slaves in the field

Terrorists, go find an island somewhere and practice your violence on each other and leave the rest of us alone to live in peace.

And for those who think people should be segregated and you go so far as to want to build a wall to keep us out. Why don’t you build the wall around yourself instead, then none of us undesirables will ever be able to touch you again and you won’t have to see us either and we don’t have to look at you or listen to you ever again. We have dibs on the world. Where would you like to live?

Brilliant film. Super High Recommendation.  The ending is surprising, yet it is not. – j.kiley

12 tobacco burn the drying shed for tobacco



Tobacco Road – Short Film

Genre: Drama
Runtime: 17m 28s

Location: Connecticut
Award: Grand Jury Prize
Best Cinematography…Zachary Halberd
Best Director…Justin Liberman

DIRECTOR…Justin Liberman
Stephen Tyrone Williams
Daralyn Jay
Law Crimlis
Timothy Roselle
Julien Rozzell Jr

13 tobacco burn white man standing drunk in front hot fire

First appeared on Expats Post 21st March 2016. Seems so relevant to the world we are living in now. Maybe the way it has always been. Edited information on the Series Underground.

6 thoughts on “Tobacco Burn – Short Film

  1. I will have to check this out when I have more time. Thanks.
    Have you ever read “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl?” It was published in 1861. I used to assign it in my US History classes. It’s an account written by a woman who was a house slave in a town, so it gives another perspective to slavery, but shows that even the “privileged” slaves were still slaves. (And then there’s the whole racist/sexist debate that ensued after the book was published–how could a “slave girl” write so well? )

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, I haven’t heard of the book “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl?” A slave, no matter their place in the order of things, was always a slave & punishment was not something a slave could escape. It’s terrifying being under the control of anyone who has the power to punish &/or kill you if they so desired. Why shouldn’t a ‘slave girl’ find a way to learn to write so well? It must have been a hot topic assigning this book to your US History classes. Teaching & learning that diversity is good & no one should be punished for being different. And no one should be controlled on any level by another. This society is set up in such a way that it does just that exactly, but keeps it partially subliminal, as if to hide it makes it not exist.

      I will see if I can track down this book & add it to my other reading material. Thank you.

      You will find Tobacco Burns to be a satisfying story & educational. It is quite intense. Be prepared. j.kiley

      Liked by 1 person

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