God’s Own Country
Johnny (Josh O’Connor) is a young farmer in Yorkshire, working long and hard on his family’s sheep and cattle farm, desperately trying to win his father’s approval. Dealing with the effects from a stroke, his father has no time or compassion to spare and constantly belittles every suggestion to improve or modernise. Johnny has only two ways to vent his frustration – getting wasted at the local pub and frantic and meaningless couplings with local gay men.
Initially hostile to the temporary worker brought on to help on the farm, he warms to Gheorghe (Alec Secăreanu), an older more empathetic Romanian, who finds beauty in even the remoteness and the mundanity around him. As their relationship deepens, Johnny, who has never experienced such tenderness and acceptance, finds this somewhat overwhelming.
Though this sometimes is described as the British Brokeback Mountain, this film expands the genre rather than just reproducing it. Not going to the typical tropes, such as the threat to the relationship being external lack of acceptance, the film also incorporates themes of identity and immigration, as well as familial tensions and relationships. There is often little dialogue between the characters, but much is said. This is a testament to the skill of the first-time director, Francis Lee, who won the Sundance Award for Directing with his beautiful story of hope.Natalie Tyldesley-Marshall
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Screenings of this film:
|2017/2018 Spring Term – (digital)|