Benjamin Maio Mackay
Sweet Country - 4.5 Stars
The Australian film that’s honest, powerful and cinematically brilliant.
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 posse gathers to hunt him down.
Australian cinema typically struggles at the box office, primarily due to the content being repetitive or just relying on exaggerated stereotypes. For the first time in a long while we have a film that is brave enough to tell a heartbreaking, powerful story that leaves you feeling uncomfortable. There is exceptional cinematography, with some unusual shots (and in one case blackness) adding an additional layer to the film. Warwick Thornton has a remarkable eye and he serves brilliantly as director/cinematographer. The script is very good, it could’ve lost maybe 5 minutes in the middle, but the dialogue is realistic and natural. The performances, especially that of newcomer Hamilton Morris are incredible. Sam Neil and Bryan Brown are both great too - but you expect nothing less of such established icons.
Overall this is a film about racism with a powerful message that it delivers brilliantly.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas