Director Warwick Thornton returns with a grim western outback on brutal colonialism inspired by real-life events.
Set in the Australian outback of the ’20s, Aboriginal stockman Sam and his wife, Lizzie, are forced to go on the run when Sam kills a drunken white landowner in self-defence. Pursued by a grizzled police sergeant and a band of white men determined to see a “blackfella” hang, Sam must decide his next course of action.
Driven by an action-packed plot and minimal dialogue, Sweet Country strums with a violent energy that manifests in premonitions and flashbacks, laying the ground for the cruel twist that is to come. Director Warwick Thornton’s masterful narrative is framed beautifully against the ruthless Australian outback that sears the will out of men as it delivers reprieve. Its stark and relentless storytelling is abetted by skilled performances from Hamilton Morris and Sam Neill, further fuelling the film’s bald statements about inequality, racism and (in)humanity at large.
Cast & Credits
Warwick Thornton is an Australian indigenous director, screenwriter and cinematographer. His first feature film, Samson and Delilah, won the Camera d’Or at Cannes in 2009. He honed his craft with inventive documentaries The Darkside (2013) and We Don’t Need a Map (2017). Sweet Country is his second fiction feature film, which won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival 2017.
Greer Simpkin, David Jowsey
David Tranter, Steven McGregor
Hamilton Morris, Sam Neill, Bryan Brown
• Special Jury Prize, Venice Film Festival 2017
• Platform Prize, Toronto International Film Festival 2017
• In-competition, London Film Festival 2017