From 24 Jan. – 4 Feb. 2018 the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) rolls out the red carpet for filmmakers, film lovers and nightlifers for the 47th time. Twelve days full of films, premieres, talk shows, parties, exhibitions and performances. For more information, visit IFFR.com. In order to get everyone in the mood, the IFFR Preview Tour will take place in Filmhuis Movie W on Wednesday, 17 January with the screening of Sweet Country, which won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival.
White Australians and Aboriginals under one roof: it seems possible at the beginning of Sweet Country. In 1929 Sam and his wife Lizzie live and work with a friendly farmer. Then they are lent, in good faith, to an ex-soldier who turns out to have no respect for people of different skin colour. Sam is even forced to shoot him in self defense, and because a revenge bullet seems more likely than a fair trial, he and Lizzie flee into the Australian outback.
Although that may sound like the storyline of an oppressive manhunt thriller, director and cameraman Warwick Thornton turns it into something very different. A hushed, beautifully shot western, in which characters have their own personal history thanks to silent image fragments that jump a short ways back or forward in time. Effectively told, leaving plenty of space for reflections on a society in which justice loses to mutual mistrust.
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