Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements

Sweet Country

2017, Warwick Thornton, Australia, 113 min. With Hamilton Morris, Bryan Brown, Sam Neill.

Show Times

  • Fri, Jun 8th 3:45pm
  • Fri, Jun 8th 8:00pm
  • Sat, Jun 9th 3:00pm
  • Sun, Jun 10th 5:15pm
  • Mon, Jun 11th 7:45pm
  • Tue, Jun 12th 6:00pm
  • Wed, Jun 13th 7:45pm
  • Thu, Jun 14th 6:00pm
Chicago premiere!

"Thornton wrings from this fable of rough frontier justice a statement from the heart. Australia now has its HIGH NOON." - Nick Dent, Time Out New York

"A searing indictment of frontier racism as remarkable for its sonic restraint as its visual expansiveness." - Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times

Revisiting the racial battlefield of classic westerns both American (especially THE SEARCHERS) and Australian (especially THE CHANT OF JIMMIE BLACKSMITH), SWEET COUNTRY is a riveting, fact-based drama of injustice framed against starkly beautiful widescreen landscapes. Based on real events of the 1920s, the story centers on the pursuit and trial of an Aboriginal farmer who kills a white man in self-defense. Indigenous director Thornton (who also photographed the film) uses the incident to draw a non-simplistic but damning spectrum of a racist society, from the virulent World War I veteran who attacks the accused man to an enlightened but ultimately ineffectual preacher (Neill), with many darker shades of gray in between (including a shrewd riff on the John Wayne image by BREAKER MORANT's Bryan Brown). The film's many powerful scenes include a chilling act of violation conveyed by a gradual gathering of darkness, and an outdoor screening of the pioneer 1906 film THE STORY OF THE KELLY GANG, with the crowd cheering on the bad guys. In English and Arrernte with English subtitles. DCP digital widescreen. (MR)

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