“I want to see him come back alive,” Fred (Sam Neill)
SWEET COUNTRY is a vitriolic Australian western concerning the abuse of the indigenous population. It is finely calibrated, and searingly acted. The film joins the slowly growing excellent subgenre. (It is well worth your time to check out THE PROPOSITION, RED HILL and MYSTERY ROAD.) SWEET COUNTRY reaches for the holy grail of storytelling: Being unpredictable. Why is it then not a five star film? One has been thinking about that since viewing last year. It is hard to pin down. Perhaps SWEET COUNTRY is too achingly bleak. (One secretly hoped for a DJANGO UNCHAINED re-writing of history.) Nearly a century on from the period depicted, how far has enlightenment been achieved? There is no obvious catharsis. No clear solution or path is offered. Maybe that is too much to ask for?
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