Ballast is a 2008 film directed by Lance Hammer. It competed in the Dramatic Competition at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the awards for Best Director and Best Cinematography. The film received 6 nominations in the 2009 Film Independent Spirit Awards.
The film opens with a local man driving to the home of Lawrence and Darius, twin brothers who operate a local store. Upon entering the home, the man discovers Darius dead in his bedroom with Lawrence sitting on the couch unable to speak. Lawrence then walks to a neighboring property and shoots himself in the chest, which he survives. In the hospital, it is revealed that Darius committed suicide. Depressed and unable to return to the store he owns, Lawrence spends his days at the property he shared with his brother. Meanwhile, James, Darius' estranged pubescent son, steals Lawrence's gun and holds him at gunpoint for money to buy crack. After a failing to repay debts to his drug dealer, James and his mother, Marlee, are targeted in a drive-by assault. Unable to return home, Marlee confronts Lawrence about Darius leaving her and James many years prior and moves into Darius' vacant apartment. After she is fired from her