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After his short film Green Bush premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, acclaimed Indigenous Australian filmmaker Warwick Thornton finally makes a triumphant return to the Festival with Sweet Country—fresh off of winning the Toronto International Film Festival’s coveted Platform Prize.

It’s 1929 on the vast, desert-like Eastern Arrernte Nation lands that are now known as the Central Australian outback. Sam Kelly (Hamilton Morris), a middle-aged Aboriginal man, works the land of a kind preacher, Fred Smith (Sam Neill). After an ill-tempered bully arrives in town and Kelly kills him in self-defense, he and his wife, Lizzie, go on the run as a posse gathers to hunt him down.

With a sensitively written screenplay by Aboriginal writers Steven McGregor and David Tranter, Thornton expands on the themes of his extraordinary feature debut, Samson & Delilah, and draws on the conventions of the American Western to explore the genesis of contemporary Australian racism and the generational neglect of Aboriginal people. Serving as both cinematographer and director, Thornton creates an indelible visual language that penetrates the complex relationship between indigenous culture and white-power-obsessed colonialism.


Fri. 1/19, 2:30 p.m., Egyptian, PC
Sat. 1/20, 9:30 p.m., Wagner, SLC
Mon. 1/22, 11:30 p.m., Prospector, PC
Sat. 1/27, 2:30 p.m., MARC, PC

YEAR 2017

SECTION Spotlight

COUNTRY Australia

RUN TIME 113 min

LANGUAGE English and Aboriginal Australian

SUBTITLES Yes with English subtitles

COMPANY Samuel Goldwyn Films

WEBSITE http://www.samuelgoldwynfilms.com

EMAIL taylor@samuelgoldwyn.com

PHONE (310) 237-6876

Credits

Director
Screenwriter
Producers
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Editor
Production Designer
Actor

Artist Bio

Warwick Thornton

Warwick Thornton is an internationally recognized director, screenwriter, and cinematographer. Born and raised in remote Alice Springs, Australia, Thornton studied cinematography at Sydney's prestigious Australian Film, Television and Radio School. Thornton gained a strong industry presence by shooting, directing, and writing a series of short films that focused on contemporary Indigenous Australian stories. The Berlin International Film Festival played his shorts Nana and Green Bush, which established Thornton as an important voice in Australian cinema.