2017 ( Australia ) ( Adventure, Crime, Drama )
DIRECTOR: Warwick Thornton
STARRING: Hamilton Morris, Sam Neill, Ewen Leslie
Sweet Country is an Australian western set on the Northern Territory frontier in the 1920s, where justice itself is put on trial when Sam Kelly (Hamilton Morris), an aged Aboriginal farmhand, shoots a white man called Harry (Ewen Leslie) in self-defence and goes on the run as a posse gathers to hunt him down. Eventually there is a trial, presided over by a visiting judge, who must decide whether Sam shot Harry in self-defence. For most of the townsfolk, however, it’s a clear-cut case of murder.
It’s a simple but stirring tale, wonderfully acted and directed with terrific verve but also great sensitivity by Warwick Thornton, who is himself from an Aboriginal background. He has done his own cinematography, too, turning the extraordinary landscape almost into a character in its own right. This is a very accomplished film and a hard-hitting story.