#SUNDANCE: “GOD’S COUNTRY”
By Amanda Gilmore
Julian Higgins’ Feature debut follows Sandra (Thandiwe Newton) in the direct aftermath of her mother’s passing. Over the course of seven days, the increasing environment of racism and misogyny brings Sandra to a boiling point.
God’s Country is a slow-burn pressure-cooker of a film that will have you on the edge of your seat. Higgins creates tension in every frame as we follow Sandra’s grieving process and determination to be taken seriously in a world against her. The anxiety-inducing music by DeAndre James Allen-Toole adds to this unnerving atmosphere making for one intense viewing experience.
At the heart of the Film is a captivating character study that rests on Newton’s sturdy shoulders. She gives a tour-de-force performance perfectly exposing the grieving process. While Sandra’s mourning, a confrontation with two hunters who trespass on their property increases her grief and anger. Higgins and co-writer Shaye Ogbonna have created a grossly understated character. Newton plays into this understatement allowing for one surprising, riveting performance.
God’s Country screens virtually at Sundance:
Premiere: Jan. 23 at 11PM EST
Second Screening: Jan. 25 at 10AM (available for 24hrs)