DIRECTOR: Steve Gherebean, Jesse Mariut
WRITER: Steve Gherebean, Jesse Mariut
STARS: Daniel Marshall, Marvin Shenken, Peter Weller (narrator)
No-nonsense history told with testicular fortitude through excellent old photos and footage. A hard-line is drawn between governments but another line connecting people, cuts across the first. Palpable passion. All surrounding and revolving around a cigar. What makes a good smoke. How a good smoke feels. From nuts and bolts to the ethereal, this flick clicks.
A timely, important, and definitive distinction is made, with great and deserved bravado, between premium handmade cigars and other 'lesser' tobacco products. (The industry's current FDA woes become the focus for a good bit.) There are many personalities on display here, and from politicians to planters--this is a five-pound bag of charisma filled with easily twice of much of the stuff. Some jockeying does display but that's cool. It's never head-on.
"There's a lot of fucking things that make a cigar a cigar."- Jorge Padron.
And we see those, as well as how precisely they do differ from cigarettes and such; lingering in the present. Though we do, in turn, get good information regarding 'Seed to smoke,' as they say. We also see some typical-of-the-lifestyle sleek glamour, and also more regular folks, and families, enjoying and depending upon the product and industry. Again, it clicks on all cylinders, and does-so in a driving, unrelenting, unapologetic, and meritorious manner.
In short, Hand Rolled perfectly captures and relates (minus pulling punches, plus [necessarily] being a half-tick overly of the day) all it sets out to do. I realize I'm late to the game here as well as in saying this, but show someone this documentary, and not just in a preaching-to-the-choir fashion. It's more than good enough for a seemingly disinterested even contrary audience.
FINAL GRADE: A
::: very :::