Date Showing Showing On 14, 16, 17 May
Time Showing Monday 6pm, Wednesday 4pm and Thursday 6pm

Sweet Country

MA15+ 1hrs 50mins
adventure crime drama | 2017, Australia | English

Australian western set on the Northern Territory frontier in the 1920s, where justice itself is put on trial when an aged Aboriginal farmhand shoots a white man in self-defense and goes on the run as a posse gathers to hunt him down.

Warwick Thornton
Original Review
Peter W Sheehan, Australian Catholic Office for Media
Extracted By
Janez Zagoda
Bryan Brown, Matt Day, Tremayne Doolan

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Sweet Country Official Trailer

Storyline (warning: spoilers)

This Australian drama is set in 1929 in the outback of Australia’s Northern Territory, and tells the story of an Aboriginal farmhand who kills a white man in self-defence, and goes on the run. The film is inspired by true events. It takes its title from a description by Sergeant Fletcher; “Some sweet country out there, Cattle Country.”

The film is set like a Western in isolated territory around Alice Springs .There is no church, or courthouse, only a few shops, a hotel, and a main street. An honest and well-meaning preacher, Fred Smith, unlike others around him, believes all people are equal “in the sight of the Lord.” Fred lives with Sam Kelly, his stockman, Kelly’s wife, Lizzie, and Lizzie’s niece. Fred has no Church to preach in, but being Christian in outreach, he lends Sam and Lizzie for two days to an alcoholic, stressed war-veteran, Harry March, who asks for assistance as the station-owner of a neighbouring property.

Harry March rapes Kelly’s wife, and denigrates Kelly. March later confronts Kelly with a rifle, fires into his house, and Kelly shoots March in self-defence. Convinced there will be no justice, Sam and Lizzie run away, and are chased by a group, led by Sergeant Fletcher, who pursues them obsessively. Learning that his wife is now with March’s child, and wanting help for her, Sam eventually gives himself up. A trial is held, Sam is acquitted and told he can go free.

This is a dark film, at times horrifying, making frequent use of tightly edited flashbacks and long-shots, that offer strong, moving comment on injustice, exploitation, and racism in an era of Australian history where white settlers made their fortunes through abuse of indigenous labour, and black people worked for free on land that was stolen from them.

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