Tumble Dry Low by Jefferson Stein

A little girl and her father cope with loss in East Texas.

Filmmaker Jefferson Stein tells the story of a little girl and her dad, coping with loss in East Texas.

A little girl paints herself with her dad and deceased mom. Dad walks in and takes a look, then tells her to clean up. He continues to look in the newspaper for part-time jobs.

Dad stares at the painting, then runs the shower and sits in the tub. They eat instant noodles for dinner.

The next morning, the little girl plays with her dad’s lighter. Dad hears the smoke alarm go off and run to grab her and take her outside.

Then, he runs into the fire, his daughter screaming for him to come back.

The next day, their camper is in a smoldering pile of ruins. They look at what’s left of their lives. As she begins to cough, he hands her the painting she made of their family.

Then, he reaches out and holds her hand.

In making “Tumble Dry Low,” Stein approached the film in two parts. “First, I thought, what’s the most painful thing I can think of that could happen to me and what are my biggest fears?” he said. “I came up with a list and chose my mother dying. The trailer became a motif for isolation and we sort of crafted the story around what we had access to.”




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