TIFF 2017 Movie Review: SWEET COUNTRY (Australia 2017) ****

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

Sweet Country Poster
A period western set on the Northern Territory frontier where justice itself is put on trial.

Director:

Warwick Thornton

Stars:

Bryan BrownMatt DayTremayne Doolan

An Australian outback western and a very good one at that. Based on true events that occurred in 1929, SWEET COUNTRY tracks the killing, search and trial of Aboriginal Sam Kelly (Hamilton Morris).

Aboriginal stockman Sam works the land of a kind preacher, Fred Smith (Sam Neill), living and labouring in a respectful, if diffident, harmony.

But when a bitter and often-drunk war veteran named Harry March (Ewen Leslie) returns to town, trouble escalates and Sam is forced to kill in self-defence. Shocked, afraid, and with a deep distrust in the impartiality of settler authority, Sam and his wife, Lizzie (Natassia Gorey-Furber), go on the run.

They are immediately pursued by a posse led by Sergeant Fletcher (Bryan Brown) and Aboriginal tracker Archie (Gibson John), expert bushman Sam must ultimately decide which of several looming unknowns to face.

The whites are shown as racist pigs while the abused Aborigines are not that angelic either. If there is any redemption for the white man, there is the good Fred Smith and more important and the change of heart of Fletcher (subtly shown).

A very absorbing film with almost perfect storyboarded set-ups from atmosphere to performances.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYKBG1znk4A

SWEET COUNTRY

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