Whitby Film Society
Australia 2017 Director: warwick Thornton
A film of shocking cruelty and haunting beauty with its tragic tale of tensions in the outback. Set in the 1920s Northern Territory, it’s a place where white men are traumatised by the heat, hardship and memories of serving the Motherland in the First World War, and where Indigenous Australians are treated with casual racism as virtual plantation field-hands, in a colonial situation close to slavery. Sam works for Fred Smith, a Christian Pioneer who treats all equally. He lends Sam to a drunken newcomer Harry March who believes that raping Indigenous womenfolk is his prerogative. Eventually, Sam goes on the run into the outback, disappearing into the thrumming, brain-frazzling heat. A posse of tribally loyal white men is gathered to go after him. Slowly, but surely, the Anglo-Saxon order was put in place in the Northern Territory, at a terrible cost for the people who were there first, and indeed for the people doing the displacing themselves. Sweet Country is about a brutal and tragic violence.