Directed by Warwick Thornton. Australia. 2017. R. 1 hour 53 minutes. Samuel Goldwyn. Digital.
Fri., June 1, 2018 thru Thu., June 7, 2018
Limited Engagement! Ends Thu, Jun 7.
Sam, a middle-aged Aboriginal man, works for a preacher in the outback of Australia’s Northern Territory. When Harry, a bitter war veteran, moves into a neighbouring outpost, the preacher sends Sam and his family to help Harry renovate his cattle yards. But Sam’s relationship with the cruel and ill-tempered Harry quickly deteriorates, culminating in a violent shootout in which Sam kills Harry in self-defence. As a result, Sam becomes a wanted criminal for the murder of a white man, and is forced to flee with his wife across the deadly outback, through glorious but harsh desert country. A hunting party led by the local lawman Sergeant Fletcher is formed to track Sam down. But as the true details of the killing start to surface, the community begins to question whether justice is really being served.
“Thornton’s first film . . . announced the arrival of a talented filmmaker intent on giving voice to the stories of the underrepresented and marginalized Aboriginal population of Australia. But Sweet Country succeeds in its even loftier ambition of taking such a story and placing it within a mythical, archetypal cinematic tradition that makes it much bigger than itself, as big, in fact, as the landscape it inhabits, which is as hostile as it is beautiful and as vast as man’s capacity for cruelty.” – Jessica Kiang, The Playlist