6.9/10
7,032
64 user 116 critic

Sweet Country (2017)

Trailer
1:53 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Warwick Thornton

Writers:

David Tranter (screenplay by), Steven McGregor (screenplay by)
22 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hamilton Morris ... Sam Kelly
Shanika Cole Shanika Cole ... Lucy
Ewen Leslie ... Harry March
Sam Neill ... Fred Smith
Thomas M. Wright ... Mick Kennedy
Gibson John Gibson John ... Archie
Tremayne Doolan Tremayne Doolan ... Philomac
Trevon Doolan Trevon Doolan ... Philomac
Natassia Gorey Furber ... Lizzie (as Natassia Gorey-Furber)
Bryan Brown ... Sergeant Fletcher
Anni Finsterer ... Nell
Luka Magdeline Cole Luka Magdeline Cole ... Olive (as Luka May Glynn-Cole)
Tom Willoughby Tom Willoughby ... Constable Minty
Lachlan J. Modrzynski Lachlan J. Modrzynski ... Constable Campbell (as Lachlan Modrzynski)
Martin McMillan Martin McMillan ... Barney
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Inspired by true events See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, bloody images and for language throughout | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The production filmed at a whole colonial town set which had been constructed for a film of Henry Lawson's story 'The Drover's Wife'. This story has been filmed at least twice [See: The Drover's Wife (1968) and The Drover's Wife (1984)]. This mini set town is located at Ooraminna Station which is approximately about forty kilometers south of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Previously, the South Australian pioneer village of Old Tailem Town at Tailem Bend had been used for Twin Rivers (2007) whilst town scenes for Lost in the Wild (1976) were filmed at the heritage listed Australiana Pioneer Village in New South Wales, Australia. However, neither of these two earlier films which used pioneer villages as town sets, were "westerns". Sweet Country (2017) producer David Jowsey has said: "At Ooraminna there's a whole town that was built for 'The Drover's Wife', there's an old police station and a general store already there, we've just added a few things to fit in with our film". See more »

Goofs

When March unloads the Lee Enfield, there are more than 5 rounds (the magazine only took five) also he uses his fingers to retract the bolt, as a veteran of the trenches it was more probable that he would "palm" the action. See more »

Quotes

Fred Smith: We're all equal here. We're all equal in the eyes of the Lord.
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Connections

Features The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906) See more »

Soundtracks

(There ll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)
Written by Thomas A. Dorsey (as T Dorsey)
(© Hill and Range Soundwind Music
Licensed courtesy of BMG AM Pty Ltd)
Performed by Johnny Cash
Courtesy of Columbia Nashville
By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment Australia Pty Ltd
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User Reviews

 
A 'must-see' sort of film, falls short of being a masterpiece
1 July 2018 | by ok_english_btSee all my reviews

'Sweet Country' isn't only great because of its Australian setting and style of cinematography, although long desolate shots of the outback certainly don't do it any harm, shades of classic spaghetti westerns. It actually has a fine story, uplifting and ultimately tragic, and some decent movie action and acting which make it a good film by anybody's standards. So, ignore the negative reviews, if you like films it's time well spent!

A couple of 'issues' which to my mind reduce 'Sweet Country's' impact as a dramatic and socially-driven western. I don't think there's enough depth in some of the central characters. The preacher Sam Smith played by Sam Neil could have been brought into the film more, especially with an actor of Neil's quality, and Bryan Brown's portrayal of 'multiple-sided' main sheriff Sergeant Fletcher also felt under-developed if you want to give a more rounded' view of things. On the other hand, Hamilton Morris as the wrongly-accused and hunted aborigine Sam Kelly is outstanding from start to finish. In fact, a lot of the drama among the indigenous actors is powerful and works in favour of the film.

The action of 'Sweet Country' unfolds believably for me, but is let down at the end with the trial. You can't really pack a punch in a justice movie unless you show how the verdict is reached effectively ('To Kill A Mockingbird' etc.). So, in this case, tag an extra 20 minutes or so on the film to emphasize the evidence (with say repeat 'flashbacks' of the crime) as well as the eye-witness accounts. I won't spoil this with details, just fair to say I found the film a bit thin at the end.

So, 'Sweet Country' does enough to earn its awards and accolades, a credit to those involved in making it. All the other stuff ... a study of racism, accurate or otherwise views of history, powerful socio-political statement ... all open to discussion, as it should be. Enjoyable, a 'must-see' sort of film.


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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English | Aboriginal

Release Date:

6 April 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sweet Country See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,895, 8 April 2018

Gross USA:

$104,297

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,847,693
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

D-Cinema 48kHz 5.1

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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