By Cheryldee Huddleston.
Cast: 2m., 3w. Moonshine and moonlight combine forces with the mildly miraculous in this Southern tale—darkly poignant and comic—of an ageless, mute woman. In a dying Tennessee trailer park in 1966, Melinda wanders through the nearby woods, dressed in a dirty white nightgown, alternately abused and neglected by her embittered mother, Jessica, whose man hunger "wilts small plants." J.T., an unflappable 13-year-old girl, Melinda's only friend, delights in rumors that the "speechless" woman is a witch. Purveying a possibly supernatural jar of moonshine, Leonard Pager, a middle-aged black man out of place in white Cookeville, stops for dessert with Jessica and finds he has a high price to pay for a piece of pie. Just out after a year in jail, Jimmie Orrio sleeps in the next trailer. It seems Jimmie was in jail for shooting a cowboy twice over something bad the cowboy was doing to a horse. On Jimmie's trailer are the words, "I Love You, Jimmie Orrio," scrawled in red crayon. Who wrote them? Melinda has been waiting a year for Jimmie Orrio to come back. What happened a year ago? Melinda, under the moonlight, pours sugar over her body, highlighting a hoof-shaped imprint on her forehead; it looks as though she's been kicked by a small horse. Mysteries are answered as, propelled by the potent jar of moonshine and the healing touch of an outsider, a minor miracle presents itself and shows Melinda that the dirt road outside the trailer park has always led to freedom. One ext. set. Approximate Running Time: 90 minutes.