An Australian western with Sam Neill is a searing masterpiece.
Sweet Country, A Quiet Place, Walking Out
directed by Warwick Thornton
The second narrative feature by the man who made Samson & Delilah has some noble ancestors. Like Rolf de Heer’s Tracker in 2002 and Fred Schepisi’s groundbreaking The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith in 1978, it concerns the hunt for an aboriginal murder suspect.
In this age, it may be better received than those two, not least because they were made by white men. And it deserves to: its storytelling, by turns lyrical and blunt, achieves an almost miraculous synthesis of the mythic and the downto-earth; its cinematography – Warwick Thornton’s own – is spellbinding; and although it occupies a specific time and place, it never allows the viewer the comfort of consigning its injustices to history.