Film Society Selection
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Tickets: Mon-Thur evenings & all matinees £9.10, Conc £8.10, Members £7.50
Fri-Sun evenings £9.10, Members £7.50
BFS Members £7.10 for BFS films - you may be asked to show your membership card. Phone reservations can be held for 4 days.
Tuesday 8th May 7.30 pm
Director: Warwick Thornton, Australia, 2017, 113 minutes English/Arrernte with some subtitles
Cast: Hamilton Morris, Natassia Gorey-Furber, Sam Neill
Aboriginal stockman works the land for a kindly preacher. Inspired by real
in Australia's Northern Territory in 1929, this compelling piece has a rare authenticity and
relevance today for its depiction of the rule of law run amok.
A stark, shocking movie, superbly shot GUARDIAN
Plus short film
The Jungle Restaurant
Director. Dave Young, UK, 2016, 100 seconds
Afghans cook for their fellow migrants in this humane and positive dispatch from Calais' refugee camp.
Australian director Warwick Thornton likes films that make an audience work.
"I don't like films that just let you dribble and you know who's going to win and what's going to happen" he says.
It's no wonder then that his latest film is, at times, hard to watch.
Released nationally on the eve of Australia Day, Sweet Country is a historical epic that riffs on the western genre, set against the stark and sublime landscape that surrounds Alice Springs.
The story, about
an Aboriginal stockman who kills a white landowner in self-defence,
unfolds in 1929, so the film sits very late in the traditional chronology
of the western.
Younger viewers might find it difficult to believe that all those tattered period costumes and horse-drawn buggies where commonplace less than century ago.
But what's more
unsettling is that the film's plot, so full of brutality, is based on
Sweet Country was developed from a script written by Thornton's long-time collaborator, sound recordist David Trantor, whose grandfather's life forms the basis of the plot.
"The film could be perceived as a classic western, and it was originally written as a classic western," Thornton says.
"There was a good guy and there was a bad guy and their moral worlds never collided.
"But I wanted something more than just your classic western."
The Screen Hub's review of Sweet Country.
Although Thornton chose to push the boundaries of the traditional western, his choice of genre still provides the audience with a certain level of distance from the film's difficult subject matter.
"You can go a lot darker in a western. There's the sad fact of a western or a period film in that way is, people today can digest our dark past because it was our past 'that's not who we are today,'" he says.
"The irony is that it [the film's content] has a lot of connotations today. Racism is still around today, it's just that people are not allowed to openly say what they feel. But they're still racists."
Darkness certainly abounds in the film. One of the more distressing flashbacks features Sam, the film's protagonist, having the living daylights kicked out of him by Archie, another Indigenous stock man, at a white character's behest.
It's a confronting