Reviews - God’s Own Country
God’s Own Country
Reviewed By Stephen Pye
Skilfully scripted and performed, there's a strangers-meet animosity at first, edged with xenophobia. ("Gippo" becomes Gheorghe's nickname). It may be just the cold, disrupting wind Johnny needs to wake his world and his heart. There’s a startling kiss of reality in the farm work itself, helping the film towards its unique tone: a kind of birth-pained pantheism. A lamb is delivered by O'Connor, messily yet movingly, while we watch. A stillborn lamb is skinned by Secareanu, in graphic detail, so its coat can clad the first, orphaned lamb, persuading the bereaved mother to suckle. Is that symbolic? As much as a gay romance — touching, awkward, revelatory — God's Own Country is a story about whom we belong to or choose to belong to. It's about the selves and identities we try or discard, in that second birth process called growing up, before we know both who we are and whom, emotionally, we are completed by.
There is also something "pre brexit" about the film too; how our mix of cultures has reached to the wildest extremes and challenged our preconceptions, and thereby how much we stand to lose, and how very little there is of benefit if we walk away.
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