Sweet Country (2017 film)

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Sweet Country
Sweet Country (2017 film).jpg
Film poster
Directed by Warwick Thornton
Produced by Greer Simpkin
David Jowsey
Written by David Tranter
Steven McGregor
Starring Sam Neill
Bryan Brown
Hamilton Morris
Cinematography Warwick Thornton
Edited by Nick Meyers
Release date
  • 6 September 2017 (2017-09-06) (Venice)
  • 25 January 2018 (2018-01-25) (Australia)
Running time
113 minutes
Country Australia
Language English

Sweet Country is a 2017 Australian film directed by Warwick Thornton. It is set in 1929 in the outback of the Northern Territory, Australia. It was screened in the main competition section of the 74th Venice International Film Festival[1] and in the Platform section at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.[2][3] At Venice, it won the Special Jury Prize award,[4] and at TIFF it won the Platform Prize.[5] It also won Best Feature Film at the 2017 Asia Pacific Screen Awards.[6]


Sam is a middle-aged Aboriginal farmworker in the outback of Australia's Northern Territory. His employer agrees to lend him to a bitter war veteran named Harry on a neighbouring farm to renovate the latter's cattle yards. Sam's relationship with Harry quickly deteriorates during Sam's stay. Later, Harry visits the farm on which Sam works looking for a runaway Aboriginal youth. Harry fires shots which ends with Sam killing Harry in self-defence. For the murder of a white man, Sam is now on the run from the law with his wife across the outback. A manhunt for the farmer is on, led by Sergeant Fletcher, who has to contend with the heat, venomous animals and hostile natives. Questions of justice start to surface as the true details of the killing come to light.


  • Hamilton Morris as Sam Kelly
  • Sam Neill as Fred Smith
  • Bryan Brown as Sergeant Fletcher
  • Thomas M. Wright as Mick Kennedy
  • Matt Day as Judge Taylor
  • Ewen Leslie as Harry March
  • Natassia Gorey-Furber as Lizzie Kelly
  • Gibson John as Archie
  • Anni Finsterer as Nell
  • Shanica Cole as Lucy
  • Tremayne and Trevon Doolan as Philomac
  • Luka Magdeline Cole as Olive


On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 95% based on 81 reviews, with an average rating of 8.3/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Sweet Country makes brilliant use of the Australian outback as the setting for a hard-hitting story that satisfies as a character study as well as a sociopolitical statement."[7] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 90 out of 100, based on 13 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[8]


External links[edit]