Transmission Films has unveiled the trailer for Sweet Country, the next film from acclaimed Samson & Delilah helmer Warwick Thornton.
Set in 1929 in the Outback of the Northern Territory and inspired by real events, Sweet Country tells of what unfolds when an Aboriginal stockman (Hamilton Morris) kills a white station owner (Ewen Leslie) in self-defence. He and his wife (Natassia Gorey-Furber) go on the run, pursued across the harsh desert by a Sergeant (Bryan Brown), an Aboriginal tracker (Gibson John) and two local landowners (Sam Neill & Thomas M. Wright).
Thornton, whose 2009 picture Samson & Delilah was bestowed with the Camera d’Or at Cannes, appears to have another winner with this gorgeous-looking period western. The film has received a standing ovation at its Venice Film Festival World Premiere, where highly positive early reviews came from critics: “Beneath its quiet surface, Sweet Country is a milestone for Australian indigenous cinema,” wrote Screen Daily, “graceful, soulful, quietly incendiary” wrote Variety, and “beautifully filmed work with breath-taking imagery. […] Thornton does not pull any punches,” wrote Hey U Guys.
“We are thrilled to be working with Warwick again on his remarkable film, one that we regard as an instant Australian classic,” Transmission Films Joint Managing Directors Andrew Mackie and Richard Payten said in a statement. “The reaction overnight from Venice is a testament to Warwick’s unique creative vision and talent.”
The film will next hit Canada, where it will screen at the high-profile Toronto International Film Festival. Sweet Country‘s Australian premiere will take place at the Adelaide Film Festival on October 7; the film will open nationally sometime in 2018.
Synopsis for Sweet Country:
Inspired by real events, Sweet Country is a period western set in 1929 in the outback of the Northern Territory, Australia. When Aboriginal stockman Sam (Hamilton Morris) kills white station owner Harry March (Ewen Leslie) in self-defence, Sam and his wife Lizzie (Natassia Gorey-Furber) go on the run. They are pursued across the outback, through glorious but harsh desert country.
Sergeant Fletcher (Bryan Brown) leads the posse with the help of Aboriginal tracker Archie (Gibson John) and local landowners Fred Smith (Sam Neill) and Mick Kennedy (Thomas M. Wright). Fletcher is desperate to capture Sam and put him on trial for murder – but Sam is an expert bushman and he has little difficulty outlasting them. Eventually, for the health of his pregnant wife, Sam decides to give himself up. He is put on trial in the courtroom of Judge Taylor (Matt Day). But will justice be served?