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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
RUN TIME 113 min
LANGUAGE English and Aboriginal Australian
SUBTITLES Yes with English subtitles
COMPANY Samuel Goldwyn Films
PHONE (310) 237-6876