Archive of films God’s Own Country / God’s Own Country
2017, 104 min
Section: Variety Critics’ Choice
Skipping some of the more predictable clichés we’ve come to expect from the coming-out drama, Francis Lee’s sexy, thoughtful, hopeful film — about romance between an English farmboy and a Romanian migrant worker — advances a pro-immigration subtext that couldn’t be more timely in Brexit-era Britain.
In case it didn’t court Brokeback Mountain comparisons directly enough with its tale of two young sheep farmers finding love in a hopeless place, God’s Own Country seals the deal with one winkingly quoted shot: a work shirt draped on a wire hanger, poignantly removed from its wearer. Twelve years on, Ang Lee’s film has proven enough of a cultural milestone to merit such affectionate homage; luckily, Francis Lee’s tender, muscular Yorkshire romance has enough of an individual voice to get away with it, depicting a tentative romance between coarse English farmboy Johnny (Josh O’Connor) and the Romanian migrant worker Gheorghe (Alec Secareanu) who comes to work for the season. Intimacy doesn’t come naturally to a man who has been raised in a household where caring is expressed through work, but rather than over-exerting well-worn clichés about rural homophobia, the film reveals pockets of tolerance in unexpected places.
About the director
Francis Lee (b. Soyland, West Yorkshire, UK) is a British actor, screenwriter, and director. He studied at Rose Bruford College and then enjoyed an extensive career as an actor, portraying a variety of characters in theater, television, and film. He started out his movie career as a writer and director of shorts (Bantam, 2010; The Farmer’s Wife, 2012; Bradford-Halifax-London, 2013; and The Last Smallholder, 2014), in which he returns time and again to growing up on his family farm in Yorkshire, while the meditative doc The Last Smallholder focuses on the last working farmer on a Yorkshire hillside – his father. These films were shown at several festivals (Palm Springs, Slamdance, Encounters, BFI London) and received numerous top awards. God’ s Own Country, which also comes out of his experience of living a hard life on the farm, is his feature debut.
About the film
|Section:||Variety Critics’ Choice|
|Dir. of Photography:||Joshua James Richards|
|Art Director:||Stéphane Collonge|
|Producer:||Jack Tarling, Manon Ardisson|
|Production:||Shudder Films, Magic Bear Productions, Inflammable Films|
|Cast:||Josh O’Connor, Alec Secareanu, Gemma Jones|