Yesterday, I went to Luna Palace to watch the new movie by director Warwick Thornton (Samson & Delilah). The screening was in the outdoor part of the cinema and the atmosphere was magic. I love this old-style cinema, where you can relax on long chairs or bean bags while savouring a glass of wine and a cheese platter. And if you lift your eyes towards the sky, you can see the moon and the stars. I thought it was a lovely way to watch this movie.
For an Australia Day Eve night and with all the debates about the signification of that date for Aboriginal people, I thought the date for an advance screening was well chosen. This movie is based on true events and is set in 1929, in the outback of the Northern Territory. It was definitely interesting to be immersed in that time through the use of the Western genre.
Sweet Country tells the story of Sam (Hamilton Morris), an Aboriginal man who kills "white fella" Harry March in self-defence and is forced to flee with his wife across the outback. In this movie, you find different characters depicting the complex relationship between white and Aboriginal people in Australia in the late 1920s. At the beginning of the movie, Sam and his wife live with a local landowner Fred Smith (Sam Neill), who has strong religious beliefs and therefore believes in equality between all human beings. On another station farm, we discover a white man who seems at first very rough towards the Aboriginals working for him and especially a young boy. But as the narrative progresses, you can see that underneath, he is in fact, very protective of his servants. We also meet Sergeant Fletcher (Bryan Brown), who will lead the posse to find Sam when he is on the run.
The landscape in this movie is just stunning. All the actors play their parts beautifully and this movie is a must-see in my opinion. Warwick Thornton has done an amazing job to bring this intense story to our screen. This movie was praised by the critics and has already earned many awards around the world.
Don't miss out: Warwick Thornton will be presenting a Q&A about Sweet Country on Monday 29th of January, 6.30pm at Luna Leederville.