It is a cold, rainy night in 1925 in the pine hills of Georgia, when a young girl, covered with moss and dead leaves, is discovered on the doorstep of a castle designated as an orphanage for Negro girls. She is named Cleopatra by staff members, who are thrilled to receive their first resident; their excitement quickly wanes, however, when she is diagnosed with typhoid fever. No one knows if she will survive the night.
But it turns out the little swamp girl is stronger than anyone ever imagined. She survives her bout with the terrible disease-only to reveal that she has amnesia. Haunted by past trauma and plagued by episodes of sleepwalking, Cleo embarks on a coming-of-age journey during which she slowly pieces together an identity, embraces her past, and discovers her destiny. In the midst of a dangerous and unpredictable landscape, Cleo is about to realize just how important she will become to the future of the south.
"Set in the pre-war, Jim Crow south, CASTLES OF DEFERRED DREAMS is a haunting and evocative exploration of race and identity, love and loss, as seen through the eyes of Cleo Marshall, a tragic and unforgettable heroine."
-Kasi Lemmons, filmmaker