SPICEBUSH interweaves various fragmentary narratives concerning education, luck. landscapes, gaining and losing a job, and the passage of time. The technique and style employed alternates between the documentary, the symbolic, and more conventionally scripted scenes. Filming individuals engaged in their careers conveys the documentary aspect. At a symbolic level, the fossil is a leitmotif suggesting past and present. The title of the film refers to the state butterfly of Mississippi, Spicebush Swallowtail. In the film, Mississippi is a place of origin. The Spicebush Swallowtail represents renewal or starting over. Throughout the film, a little girl appears in different guises and settings, functioning indirectly in the role of the chorus. The scripted scenes, shot in a documentary style, collaged with the other scenes begin to create the traces of a narrative structure.
Yuri Orlov is a globetrotting arms dealer and, through some of the deadliest war zones, he struggles to stay one step ahead of a relentless Interpol agent, his business rivals and even some of his customers who include many of the world's most notorious dictators.
Ray Ferrier is a divorced dockworker and less-than-perfect father. Soon after his ex-wife and her new husband drop of his teenage son and young daughter for a rare weekend visit, a strange and powerful lightning storm touches down.