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USA, 2008, 93 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Drama, Substance Abuse
Programs: Films in Competition, Contemporary World Cinema, New Directors ShowcaseLanguage: English
DIRECTOR: David Pomes
Producer: David PomesEditor: Branan EdgensScreenwriter: David PomesCinematographer: Brad RushingPrincipal Cast: Anson Mount, Xander Berkeley
A visceral study of the methamphetamine plague in rural America, Cook County tells the story of drug manufacturer-slash-addict Bump, whose downward spiral threatens to destroy his family. First-time writer and director David Pomes crafts a stunning exposé of meth culture via the savage portrait of a man so caught up in his own addiction that he is finally willing to betray his six-year-old daughter Deandra just to get high.
Bump is the despotic ruler of his own drug-addled kingdom—the chaotic home where he cooks and sells crystal meth. His careless acts of violence include ruthless bullying of his teenaged nephew, Abe, who grows more and more resentful but who stays in order to protect his cousin. When Abe’s father, Sonny, returns after a long absence, Abe finally has a chance to forge a normal relationship with an adult, but he’s hobbled by the bitterness born of such appalling circumstances. Indeed, everything seems to fall apart when Abe discovers that Sonny too is back in the drug business—but what he doesn’t know is that his father is under pressure from federal agents to root out other dealers. As Bump veers out of control, taking money in return for Deandra’s sexual exploitation, Abe finally confronts him to rescue the young cousin he loves—only to make a descent of his own into violence that can only be redeemed by Sonny, who makes the ultimate sacrifice for his son.
With razor-sharp dialogue, this fierce drama offers breakout performances by actors with extensive background experience in film and television (from Mommie Dearest to The O.C.). Pomes, who practiced law for ten years in his native Texas, ably captures the gritty and tragic situation of many in this country’s rural outposts, where seriously underreported crimes of desperation are becoming rampant.
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