God's Country

Director: Julian Higgins
Screenwriters: Julian Higgins, Shaye Ogbonna

Institute History


Sandra (Thandiwe Newton) is very tired. It’s been years of trying (and failing) to please her recently deceased mother, while also navigating the challenging politics and power dynamics at the college where she teaches. And then there is the racism, sexism, and toxic masculinity she encounters wherever she goes. But it’s a confrontation with two hunters trespassing on her property that ultimately tests Sandra’s self-restraint, pushing her grief and mounting anger to their limits. God’s Country examines one woman’s grieving process and determination to be taken seriously amid her refusal to surrender to the confines of society.
Newton shines as Sandra in director Julian Higgins’s impressive feature debut. The script, co-written by Higgins and Shaye Ogbonna, offers Newton the opportunity to create a character who is masterfully understated, yet complex and believable. Newton occupies almost every frame of the film; close-ups of her calm, grief-stricken face reveal the despair and tension of a crumbling human spirit. She remains cool and composed, but no longer willing to yield.

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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