AustLit logo
image of person or book cover 8854821853697652466.jpg
Screen cap from promotional trailer
form y separately published work icon Sweet Country single work   film/TV   crime   thriller   western  
Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Sweet Country
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Sweet Country is set in 1929 in the outback of the Northern Territory. It is the story of a young boy called Philomac, who witnesses Sam, an Aboriginal stockman, kill station owner Harry Marsh in self defence. Sam and his pregnant wife Lizzie go on the run and a posse pursues them across the outback. The posse cannot catch Sam, as he is a clever man and an expert bushman. Eventually for the health of his pregnant wife, Sam gives himself up. A trial is held in town and when the truth comes out in the courtroom about Sam's actions, he is acquitted. Justice has been served. Philomac and Sam set off on their journey home, but soon after leaving town, a shot rings out and Justice is crushed…' (Publication summary)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

Penny Smallacombe : It’s 2018 and It’s OUR TIME Dov Kornits , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: FilmInk , 10 August 2018;
Thom Kellar : Sweet Sound Design Ashleigh Stevenson , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: FilmInk , 10 April 2018;
Brutal Aboriginal Fable in the Postwar Outback Tim Kroenert , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: Eureka Street , 28 January vol. 28 no. 2 2018;

'Aside from being a one of Australia's great working directors, Warwick Thornton is a gifted and prolific cinematographer, including on his own films. In Sweet Countryhe exercises his visual mastery to its fullest, utilising framing and composition, light, shade and colour to explicate his themes and elevate a straightforward story of outback brutality and racial prejudice to the proportions of myth.' (Introduction)

Confronting the National Narrative M Bakewell , 2018 single work prose
— Appears in: Overland [Online] , April 2018;

'In the wake of Invasion Day 2018, two works – Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country and Richard Lewer’s exhibition The History of Australia ­– highlight Australia’s desperate and increasing need to confront its foundations. Here are two art projects that swipe and paw at Australia’s historical consciousness and demand that we do better.'  (Introduction)

Warwick Thornton to Hand-deliver Sweet Country to Dubbo After Snub by Town's Cinema Luke Buckmaster , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 25 April 2018;

'The filmmaker Warwick Thornton will hand-deliver a copy of his critically acclaimed western, Sweet Country, to the community of Dubbo this Friday, following a months-long campaign to bring the film to the regional New South Wales city.' (Introduction)

Remote Conflict Still Resonates David Stratton , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 20 January 2018; (p. 13)

— Review of Sweet Country Steven McGregor , David Tranter , 2017 single work film/TV


Eight years after his astonishing Cannes prizewinning first feature, Samson and Delilah, Warwick Thornton’s majestic Sweet Country scored major awards in Venice and Toronto last year and is officially opening here next week — and it’s no coincidence that it opens in the week of Australia Day. This is a slice of Australian history that an indigenous director such as Thornton is best equipped to depict; only by confronting and examining the racism of a bygone period can we hope to understand why racism is still so prevalent in this “sweet country” of ours.' (Introduction)

Sweet Country : Filmmaker Warwick Thornton Returns to Desert to Share Tale of Rough Justice in 1920s Australia Nick Hose , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: ABC News [Online] , November 2016;
'A white station owner lies dead in the red dirt of central Australia. Nearby on horseback stands the Aboriginal stockman who just shot him. ...'
Filming Sweet Spot in SA Penelope Debelle , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 16 September 2016; (p. 30)
Warwick Thornton Saddles Up For an Aussie Western Jackie Shannon , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: FilmInk , 10 September 2016;
Warwick Thornton : Racists Have Ruined the Southern Cross for Everyone Luke Buckmaster , 2017 single work
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 7 June 2017;
'Australia’s fantasies about its past are a real problem, says the Indigenous director ahead of the world premiere of his new film, We Don’t Need A Map.'
How Sweet It Is for Thornton 2017 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 9 August no. 657 2017; (p. 5)

'The landscape around Alice Springs is making waves in this year's Venice International Film Festival. For the first time, an Australian Indigenous feature film has been selected for the world premiere of the official competition.'

Last amended 12 Nov 2018 13:08:30