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GOD’S COUNTRY (2022, USA) – 6.5/10

Thandie Newton is Sandra Guidry, a professor at a university somewhere in western Montana and the only black woman in that rather desolate part of the American interior. She lived alone with her mother, who dies at the very beginning of the film, in a modern cabin in the mountains, and as time passes, we will slowly learn some details about this mysterious professor who is a favorite among students. The question of all questions is how on earth this woman ended up there, and it will turn out that she was once a police officer in New Orleans and that after a shocking event from the past she decided to find solitude, peace and quiet in that mountainous, cold, wintery and snowy wasteland. .

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And as if it were not enough that Sandra is in a sensitive situation after the death of her mother, she will decide to confront the poachers who are constantly roaming her land. Although everyone suggests to her that it would be wiser not to enter into conflict with these rather dangerous types, she has decided that she will no longer run and hide and that she will not give in to those who do not wish her well. And although it is obvious that Sandra must feel like an intruder in these wild areas, these intruders into her living space will be the trigger for this dark story that will escalate at the very end of the film.

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Although it seemed that “God’s Country” could also be one of the films on the trail of Peckinpah’s “Straw Dogs”, it is more of a character study, a psychological drama – a thriller about a woman who decided to fight for her place under the sun. Or rather a place at the foot of snow-covered mountains. The film is also about the conflict between two Americas, one traditional, rural, wild and violent, which is symbolized not only by the guys with whom Sandra will clash, but also by the rest of the rather primitive, dull society that we will meet there. This other, modern America is symbolized precisely by Sandra, who did not even try to fit in, but her only wish was to be left alone, in silence and solitude, and when she realizes that this is not possible either, she will have to resort to the methods of the area on where he lives.

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“God’s Country” was also the debut feature film for the young American filmmaker Julian Higgins, and this thriller premiered at Sundance. Thandie Newton is convincing as the bitter, angry and desperate woman who was just looking for a quiet corner, and she will find trouble, and she also earned a nomination for the best lead role in an independent film. He made Higgins “God’s Country” based on the short story “Winter’s Light” by James Lee Burke, and it was a more than solid combination of drama and thriller.