Sweet Land

Sweet Land
It’s quite astonishing that ‘Sweet Land’  is the debut feature film of writer-director Ali Selim, as it displays a veteran’s emotional sophistication, storytelling vigour and mellow, yet measured, approach to pacing. Set in the rolling cornfields of 1920s Minnesota, this modest, thoroughly winning film takes in the experiences of beautiful German immigrant Inge (Elizabeth Reaser) and her numerous, mostly unconstructive encounters with smalltown politics, culture, commerce, family values and religion.

Firmly eschewing fish-out-of-water clichés, the film instead serves as a plaintive document of Inge’s plight, which is seen via her hushed romance with prickly Norwegian farmer Olaf (Tim Guinee). Echoing Malick’s ‘Days of Heaven’ in the way it captures the majesty of the American countryside, this is a small gem that’s worth seeking out.

By: David Jenkins


Release details

Rated: PG
Release date: Friday September 5 2008
Duration: 111 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ali Selim
Screenwriter: Ali Selim
Cast: Elizabeth Reaser
Lois Smith
Tim Guinee
Patrick Heusinger
Stephen Pelinski
Alan Cumming
1 person listening