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Mudbound (2017)Mudbound (2017)

This "Netflix Original" historical drama made numerous top ten lists for 2017. On Metacritic, the film earned an aggregate rating of "universal acclaim." Mudbound debuted at the 2017 Sundance festival, and is based upon the 2008 novel of the same title by Hillary Jordan. The larger story revolves around the relationship between two families that work one patch of land, one white and one black, along with all their respective ghosts of slave history, overtly racist institutions, cultural Christianity, economic systems, and a very muddy and impoverished land. A more narrow and intense story unfolds when two soldiers from these families become friends after returning from WW2 and re-entering "normal" life in the rural Mississippi Delta. For the black Ronsel, war in Europe was expansive and liberating; he even had a white girl friend there. The white Jamie struggles with alcoholism and what we now call PTSD. "Violence," observes Laura in an understatement, "is part and parcel of country life."

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