"intense and it’s easy to become emotionally invested in the events"

Set in Colonial Australia in 1929, Sweet Country uncovers the racial reality in a Country conquered by White people in which justice is only considered another tool used in favour of the conquerers.

The story follows Sam Kelly, an aboriginal man working for a preacher, trying to save himself and his wife by running away after killing Harry March, a white WWI veteran, in self defence. Knowing that as a slave, he will be punished for his actions, Sam’s only hope is either escape or put his trust into the hands of his employer and friend and face justice.

Directed by Warwick Thornton, Sweet Country shines a light on a part of history not often told, especially from the side of the oppressed. The topic of Aboriginal people being enslaved and used for heavy work, is focal in the film. With Sweet Country, Thornton and screenwriter David Tranter bring to the audience a story that was passed on from generation to generation by their families. The original true tale of Wilaberta Jack, who in the 1920s was declared innocent after killing a white man in self defence, is the inspiration behind Sam’s story.

What makes Sweet Country unique is the fact that, for the first time ever, rather than being focused on the white conquerors like in any other western movie, the story is told from the perspective of the conquered.
Sam and Philomac’s point of view switch throughout the story, presenting a complete and complex picture of any aboriginal’s life, from childhood, through the eyes of Philomac, to adulthood, through Sam's eyes.

The cinematography celebrates the rural and wild nature of Australia and aids in creating the right atmosphere for the movie. The panoramic shots highlight the harsh conditions in which people, both white and indigenous, had to live during those times. Small towns were further and far away from one another and any form of escape was almost an impossible challenge. In many ways the barren countryside, showcases even more the difficult decision that Sam has to take to save his own life. Either run and risk his life or having to be judged and be executed.

In the movie, the director decided to completely cut out any kind of soundtrack, relying only on the characters, their voices and the natural sound around them. The choice was made to allow the audience to not be distracted and only focus on the story being told. For this reason the film is even more intense and it’s easy to become emotionally invested in the events.

The cast ensemble is made by local talented actors, some of them new to the industry. The aboriginal actors all portray their characters with extreme truthfulness and their performances are flawless throughout the film.
Sweet Country is a film that wants to tell the other side of Australian colonialism and it does so with strong realism by bringing on the screen a revisited version of a real story to celebrate heritage and history.