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Cigarette Candy

NARRATIVE |10 – 15 MIN. | MILITARY & VETERANS, MENTAL HEALTH

Cigarette Candy tells the story of a traumatized teenage Marine who is forced to play the role of ‘the hero’ at his homecoming party.

But What Does It Mean?

EXPLORE THE FILM'S MEANING →

Even when we feel that we have a sense of a film’s meaning, there is often more to uncover.

Watch this video to better understand the film and why we selected it for the festival.

CLICK TO EXPLORE THE FILM'S THEMES

Design a badge or an award for yourself in commemoration of a particularly hard time in your life that you survived. Your badge should be wallet sized, and can have whatever you’d like on it: a drawing that embodies particular aspects of this difficult time, elaborate decoration that befits an award, a self portrait of yourself during that time, and whatever else comes to mind. Consider adding color and fabric as an additional means to connect to this time in your life. Once you’ve finished, choose the name of this award.

Meet the Filmmaker

ABOUT THE FILMMAKER

Lauren Wolkstein is a NYC-based filmmaker originally from Baltimore, Maryland. In 2017, her debut feature THE STRANGE ONES, premiered at SXSW to critical acclaim. She co-directed the film with Christopher Radcliff, based on their Sundance short of the same name. Lauren’s previous shorts, including SOCIAL BUTTERFLY (Sundance ’13) and CIGARETTE CANDY (SXSW ’10 Grand Jury Prize), have played festivals around the world. She most recently directed an episode of QUEEN SUGAR and DARE ME. In 2013, Filmmaker Magazine listed her as one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” Wolkstein is a 2017-2018 Women at Sundance Fellow through the Sundance Institute, and she is a MacDowell Colony Fellow for Summer 2018. Lauren received her MFA in film directing from Columbia University and is an assistant professor of film and media arts at Temple University. 

WHY THEY MADE THE FILM

“My father, Andrew I. Wolkstein, a colonel in the Air Force, was in charge of several teenage airmen when he served in Iraq.

I wanted to tell this story through my own personal connection with how war affects loved ones coming home. The stories my father recounts are not traditional “war stories” of explosions but rather stories of destruction, disembodiment, disengagement, and isolation. Each time my father tells me a story or I read of a new wartime iniquity, I am reminded that warfare is not just physical—it’s psychological, emotional, and visceral—and that war in the 21st century is a new strain of trauma and destruction.

Cigarette Candy is not a war story, but a story of lost innocence – a boy forced too soon into adulthood. However, this story is also about the hope that exists in unexpected places, even when it seems that all hope is lost forever.”

Your Turn: What did YOU think of this film?

2 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    This was one of the most honest, searing, truth-telling films I have ever watched. Will we ever learn?

    Reply
  2. Signe K.

    I found it difficult to watch. There is not only physical violence (implied) but psychological brutality. So much suffering. So little understanding.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

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