God’s Own Country (2017)

February 12, 2018 421 6 No Comments

Description

God's Own Country is a 2017 British drama film written and directed by Francis Lee in his feature directorial debut. The film stars Josh O'Connor and Alec Secareanu. The plot follows a young sheep farmer in Yorkshire whose life is transformed by the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker. The film was the only UK-based production to feature in the world drama category at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival where it won the world cinema directing award.

In Yorkshire, Johnny lives on the family farm with his father, Martin, and grandmother, Deirdre. Due to his father having suffered from a stroke, and his grandmother’s age, much of the day-to-day running of the farm falls to Johnny. In his social time, Johnny engages in binge drinking and furtive sexual encounters with other men. Returning late to the farm after such an encounter, he is berated by his father after a calf dies from a breech birth in his absence.

Gheorghe, a Romanian migrant worker, is hired as extra help for lambing season. He arrives and spends his first night in a caravan that the family has organized as his accommodation. As the ewes have moved away from the main part of the farm, and as part of the farm's boundary wall remains unrepaired by Johnny, it is decided that Johnny and Gheorghe should spend several days camping nearer to the animals. When one of the ewes gives birth to an unconscious runt, Johnny is intrigued when Gheorghe is able to resuscitate and care for it. One morning, after Johnny refers to Gheorghe as a "gypsy," Gheorghe tackles him to the ground and warns Johnny not to speak that way to him again.

The next day, the two men again engage in a fight that turns into rough sex. While Johnny initially does not acknowledge the encounter, the two share cigarettes and a spice packet for their cup noodles throughout the day, and that night have a tender sexual encounter.

Returning to the farm, Johnny invites Gheorghe to stay with him in the house, but Gheorghe elects to remain in the caravan. When Martin suffers a second stroke, Johnny realizes that the running of the farm is now entirely his responsibility, and asks Gheorghe if he will stay with him. When Gheorghe expresses uncertainty over whether they can stay together and maintain the farm simultaneously, Johnny reacts poorly, over-drinking and engaging in another random sexual encounter. When Gheorghe realises what Johnny has done, he abruptly leaves the farm.

Martin is released from the hospital, but is now fully debilitated. Johnny, desperate to make it up with Gheorghe, tells his father that he will stay to run the farm, but that things must be run on his terms. Martin gives his tacit approval to Johnny, who sets off to bring Gheorghe back to the farm. After he finds Gheorghe working in Scotland, the two men reconcile. Gheorghe returns with Johnny; the caravan is taken away, and Gheorghe moves into the house.




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