Abe Snopes (Tommy Lee Jones) is a Southern tenant farmer whose unrelenting and violent nature proves to be his undoing in William Faulkner's Barn Burning. Snopes sets his employer's barn on fire when he thinks he's been treated unfairly. His son, Sarty, is horrified. Snope escapes justice for lack of proof, but he and his family are told to move on. No sooner do they move than Snopes is offended by his new rich employer. Torn between trying to win his father's acceptance and his aversion to what his father will do, Sarty must make a decision and act quickly. Adpated by Academy Award winning screenwriter Horton Foote, Faulkner's complex world of class divisions and hostile family relationships comes to life through a boy's attempt to liberate himself from hatred and poverty.