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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Mudbound (2017)

Set in the Mississippi Delta in the 1940s, a dirt poor white farmer (Jason Clarke) and his family and his black sharecropper tenant (Rob Morgan) and his family must deal with the physical elements that determine their fate and for the black family, there's the deep rooted racism. Based on the novel by Hillary Jordan and directed by Dee Rees. Although the pacing of the film often feels too methodical (or slow if you prefer), ultimately it proves to be a powerful if disturbing experience. This being set in the racist Jim Crow South, you just know where it's heading and sure enough, it does. But director Rees infuses the film with a reality and a truth that elevates it above the usual films of its ilk. Rees doesn't have to hammer us as if we were unable to grasp it, she simply shows it as it is. And when she ends the film on a note of hope, it's not of the "we are all brothers, Kumbaya" kind but a glimmer and that's enough. I found myself more interested in the black family's story and slightly annoyed whenever we had to go back to the white family's although I had a great empathy for Carey Mulligan's unhappy wife. With Mary J. Blige (excellent), Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell and Jonathan Banks.

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