Warwick Thornton
Australia
2017
110
minutes
English

Sweet Country may sound idyllic, but the Northern Territory frontier of 1929’s Australia is dry, harsh, and unforgiving. This Outback Western takes its narrative from the annals of true crime, following the relentless chase of an Aboriginal man (Hamilton Morris) whose fatal act of self-defence becomes the catalyst for racist condemnation.

Winner of TIFF’s Platform Prize this year, the resulting pursuit provides director Warwick Thornton the opportunity to film the land with panoramic observance, instilling the story—and its cruel, arid backdrop—with a natural reverence and uncommon beauty. With themes of social injustice that echo still today, Sweet Country is more than a brutally stunning commentary on colonialism: It’s a dangerous tale of law and disorder.

 

Preceded by a traditional aboriginal Austrailian performance by Goombine.

Goombine (Richard Scott-Moore) comes from the Yuin Waddi Waddi Nation on the Southeast Coast of Australia. He is a Songman, carrying traditional songs that have been passed down through his bloodline for thousands of years. He has toured around the world sharing his songs, stories, and dances with audiences across the globe.