Sundance 2017 Review: Mudbound
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By Andrea Thompson
It’s the rare film that is able to combine love, optimism, and realism so well. Mudbound is very aware of how transformative friendship can be. It can overcome obstacles both within and without, and help us understand each other even in the midst of a hateful time and place bent on keeping us apart. But let the viewer beware, because Mudbound also knows that even the best of us can still be twisted and torn by such an environment. This is not a feel-good story of an interracial friendship overcoming all odds.
The film ably and delicately tells the story of two families in rural post-World War II Mississippi. One is the McAllans, a white landowning family, and the other is the Jacksons, a family of sharecroppers who struggling to make a living. It would be a very simple story if the McAllans were the wealthy, imperious southern aristocrats we so often see, but while they may be better off than their black tenants, they’re hardly the elite. They live right down the road from their renters in a house which is little more than a shack, with no plumbing or electricity. More...