Land Needs a Deed not Deeds in Mudbound

Indeed, you might need a deed to own land, but it’s all those horrible deeds that lead to systematic oppression that tie the tortured souls of Mudbound to the land.  Even in the afterlife they can’t escape the land, which swallows their flesh and churns up their bones, the indentured survivors plopping their dead loved ones’ bodies right into the ground, rendering all their deeds and deeds undone.

While still stewing over the fact his vile racist Pappy (Jonathan Banks) sold the only land the family ever had, Henry (Jason Clark) is so damned obsessed with the idea of owning land and working it that he uproots his wife Laura (Carey Mulligan, ever graceful in her depiction of a woman’s arc from blissful naivety to pessimistic pining) and young daughters to go live on a godforsaken plot of harsh farmland in Mississippi.  There the work and hardships are shared with an African-American family led by the spirited Hap Jackson (Rob Morgan) and his stoic wife Florence (Mary J. Blige) who have been toiling the land in quiet dignity for generations, first as slaves, and now as sharecroppers.

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William Faulkner’s Two Soldiers Shall Not Perish

Making the rounds at the local art-house has been the trailer for the Robert Duvall/Bill Murray starring, character-study, period-piece Get Low — as in, “it’s time for me to –“.

Along with the indie darling Winter’s Bone and Christopher “Fritz” Nolan’s mega-budgeted, high-concept thriller Inception, Get Low ranks as one of the summer’s most anticipated films in my neck of the woods.  Come to find, the writer director Aaron Schneider won an Oscar a few years back for a short film, which just happened to be a an adaptation of what surely is one of my all time favorite short stories…William Faulkner’s “Two Soldiers” – the classic tale of a young boy desperately wanting to join his older brother as he heads off to war.

Low and behold I shot that thing right up to the top of my Netflix queue, and before I knew it was rereading the tale and watching the film.  Continue reading