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This Netflix film (that is also playing on Netflix) tells the story of two families living in Mississippi. Henry (Jason Clark) marries Laura (Carey Mulligan) and moves them to Mississippi to manage a farm (Henry has always wanted to own a farm but fails to tell Laura this). Henry’s racist father Pappy moves with them. Hap (Rob Morgan) lives with his wife Florence (Mary K Blige) and children on the farm as tenant farmers who one day hope to own the land they are working. Hap’s son Ronsel (Jason Mitchell) and Henry’s brother Jamie (Garrett Hedlund) go to serve in WWII at the same time; the central part of the plot develops once both return and adjust to post-war life. This film is outstanding and captures an important slice of American racial history. It is a story about class and class division, but it is also, more importantly, a story of how Blacks in the South were treated after returning from a war in which they defended America. The story of the friendship that develops between Jamie and Ronsel, both united by their experiences in the war, is powerful. The cinematography is beautiful, and the acting by all is terrific. I also really liked the way the story is told from multiple angles; it makes for a more vibrant film. Big thumbs up from me for a film that surely will rank among the best of the year.

About Gary Burkholder

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