The world of independent cinema is a funny place. Every once in a while, a film comes along seemingly out of nowhere, for reasons passing understanding, and blows you away. Lance Hammer’s Ballast is such a film. A quiet, simple slice-of-life about healing the wounds of the past and moving on with one’s life, it sneaks up and floors you.

Lawrence (Michael J. Smith Sr.) is a small convenience store/gas station owner deep in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. His twin brother has just committed suicide, leaving him in a quietly devastated heap. His twin brother has an adolescent son, James (JimMyron Ross), who lives with his mother Marlee (Tarra Riggs) nearby. James is out of school, having been expelled for getting into fights and using drugs. Marlee is a good woman, a single mother, doing her best.

That’s all that is really necessary to tell you about the premise of this film. The rest I will leave for you to discover.

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Filed under 2008

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