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Sweet Country (2017)

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Australian western set on the Northern Territory frontier in the 1920s, where justice itself is put on trial when an aged Aboriginal farmhand shoots a white man in self-defense and goes on the run as a posse gathers to hunt him down.

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6 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
... Sergeant Fletcher
... Judge Taylor
Tremayne Doolan ... Philomac
Trevon Doolan ... Philomac
... Nell
Natassia Gorey Furber ... Lizzie
Gibson John ... Archie
... Harry March
Lachlan J. Modrzynski ... Constable Campbell
... Sam Kelly
... Fred Smith
... Picture Show Man
... Mick Kennedy
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Storyline

Australian western set on the Northern Territory frontier in the 1920s, where justice itself is put on trial when an aged Aboriginal farmhand shoots a white man in self-defense and goes on the run as a posse gathers to hunt him down.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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A period western where justice itself is put on trial See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, bloody images and for language throughout | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

6 April 2018 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mila zemlja  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$95,609, 3 June 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

CEO of Screen NSW, Courtney Gibson, who part funded the production, said of this film: "Warwick [director Warwick Thornton] is a fearless, hugely creative filmmaker whose work is profound and deeply affecting. We're proud to support him on Sweet Country (2017) as he works alongside two of NSW's leading producers, David Jowsey and Greer Simpkin". See more »

Quotes

Fred Smith: We're all equal here. We're all equal in the eyes of the Lord.
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Connections

References The Picture Show Man (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Built with imposing emotional depth, Sweet Country is an angry discourse on racism.
9 December 2017 | by See all my reviews

In the ever widening divide between colour, cast and creed, director Warwick Thornton takes the traditional setting of a frontier western and builds the foundation for a brutal and angry discourse on racism and savagery. But unlike a typical Hollywood western, the savages here are not the indigenous people who fight for the preservation of their ancestral land-dwelling. Set in 1920s Australia, and just a few decades after independence, Sweet Country seeks to echo the haunting wails of the founding fathers of modern Australia.

Both haunting and tragic, the film is politically provocative and poetically proverbial in narrating a dark era when Australia's justice system was still in its infancy. On the run for killing a cruel white settler, Aboriginal Sam (Hamilton Morris) and his wife have little chance of escaping the law, especially during a time when lawmakers were the laugh of the town. It doesn't help either that a frontier soldier (played by Bryan Brown) is out for blood as a self- proclaimed lawman. Sam's only aid is his charitable employer and preacher Fred (Sam Neil). But there's something about the whole incident that Sam and his wife have kept to themselves and the only way for any sliver of redemption is to get caught.

Although deliberately paced (the very first scene is a symbolic pot on the boil), the final showdown is suspenseful but also gut- wrenching and ultimately heartbreaking. An Aboriginal himself, Thornton (who is also the cinematographer) uses gorgeous vistas of the Australian landscape to juxtapose the ugly nature of this story with the sheer beauty of his land. And amongst all this beauty there is suffering, trauma, barbaric colonialism, and absolute disregard for human life. As impressive as the visuals is Thornton's meticulously composed storytelling and it's a power structure with imposing breath, width and emotional depth.


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