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Sweet Country

SWEET COUNTRY is an Australian western from an Aboriginal perspective, written and directed by Aboriginal artists.

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Australian director Warwick Thornton has already won two bears at the Berlinale for his shorts in the Panorama and K-Plus section, along with other awards. His film SWEET COUNTRY is an Australian western from an Aboriginal perspective, written and directed by Aboriginal artists. Thornton has this to say about the era the film is set in: “In the 1920s indigenous people weren‘t slaves in the proper sense, but we worked without pay or just for food, and this was legitimized by the Native Affairs Act.“ This is how Sam Kelly and his wife Lizzie worked on the farm of a somewhat friendly white pastor Fred Smith. When war veteran Harry Marsh takes over a neighboring farm, he asks if he can “lend him“ a black person. Shortly thereafter, the traumatized alcoholic Marsh starts shooting at Fred Smith‘s farm. Sam shoots him and as an alleged murderer of a white man he has to flee to the Outback with his pregnant wife Lizzie, pursued by the ultra-racist sergeant Fletcher.

Thornton shows a poor white Australian society that is structurally completely racist. The men live in shabby huts, partially out of corrugated sheet metal, while the indigenous quasi-slaves camp on their land under the open sky. SWEET COUNTRY has a classic, suspenseful western plot and phenomenal landscape panoramas. The continuous perspective of the indigenous in Thornton‘s film, especially of Sam, an old foreman,, and a boy that‘s about to take over his position, makes SWEET COUNTRY an important contribution to the processing of Australian colonial history.

Hannes Stein

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

Australien 2017, 110 min
Genre: Western
Director: Warwick Thornton
Author: Steven McGregor, David Tranter
DOP: Dylan River, Warwick Thornton
Montage: Nick Meyers
Distributor: Grandfilm
Cast: Sam Neill, Bryan Brown, Matt Day, Ewen Leslie, Thomas M. Wright
FSK: 12
Release: 27.09.2018

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vimeo.com/ondemand/sweetcountry17

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