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Ballast (US, 2008) 

When a poor black man commits suicide, his ex-wife (Tarra Riggs), son (JimMyron Ross) and twin brother (Micheal [sic] J. Smith Sr.) all have different ways of dealing with the tragedy. His twin withdraws, while his ex becomes enraged and fights to get the house and small storefront he owned put in her name. His son gets in trouble with a few local hoodlums and drops out of school. It’s all very grim in Lance Hammer’s minimalist film that won awards at last year’s Sundance festival. While the film features strong, realistic performances, it’s so slow-moving, it’s virtually mind-numbing. Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. At 7 p.m. Thursday, March 5 and at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7. HH

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