Tobacco Money Feeds My Family| 1hr : 28mins
Director: Cynthia Hill and Curtis Gaston | Producer: Cynthia Hill and Curtis Gaston
Focus Years: 2004 | Country: United States
Tobacco Money Feeds My Family, a documentary by Cynthia Hill and Curtis Gaston, chronicles the death of an American way of life. In this remarkable documentary, shot over a three-year span, Hill and Gaston revisit the tobacco growing country of Hill's youth and find three diverse farm families who despite facing a rapidly changing industry, deep cuts in government tobacco growing quotas, the realities of the global economy, and the swaying of popular opinion—struggle to maintain their life's work. This feature-length film provides intimate and detailed look into the vanishing world of a centuries old culture.
Honest, mournful, and subtly heartbreaking, Tobacco Money Feeds My Family is a meditation on the bonds of community, richness of the Earth, and abundant memories of a rapidly expiring way of life. From the first fog-shrouded planting in the spring to the frenzy of an autumn tobacco marketplace, Tobacco Money Feeds My Family sensitively chronicles the numerous joys—and heartbreaks—of a people whose love of family, God, and community is rivaled only by the fertile soil beneath their feet and the redolent smells of curing tobacco.
For Hill it is a chance to get people talking about the issues. “Tobacco has shaped many of our communities and we must ask the questions, What will we do when it is gone? How will we identify ourselves? And more importantly, what about the farmers and others employed by the industry—what will they do? These are issues that affect almost everyone in North Carolina.”