Leave it to men to ruin a woman’s peace of mind in Thandiwe Newton‘s new western film God’s Country. Inspired by “Winter Light,” a short story by James Lee Burke, it tells the story of Sandra Guidry. She’s a college professor who is grieving the loss of her mother in a rural town on a huge property. And what should be a time of healing turns into something more dangerous when she finds a red truck on her property belonging to a group of hunters that begin to terrorize her.
Right off the bat, you can tell that there are underlying microaggressions that lead these men to come after Sandra. Hell, maybe not even microaggressions. Just aggressions. It’s in the way they shoot a “random” arrow at her door in warning, appear in seemingly safe places to pressure her, and make her feel not safe in her own home in God’s Country. And in a press statement, the director Julian Higgins basically confirmed that.
He said that he and co-writer Shay Ogbonna “opted to reimagine the lead character from Burke’s “Winter Light” as a Black woman.” Why? Well, to “respond to the deep-rooted racism, sexism, and misogyny reflected by the  election results. … We wanted to explore the interaction between a person’s psychology and the social structures around them, especially when norms, institutions, and belief systems fail, as we felt they were.”
Here’s hoping Thandiwe Newton shows them how it’s done and stands her ground. Because this is her home. And no one is going to run her own her own land.
Watch the trailer for God’s Country below:
God’s Country will be released by IFC Films on September 16 in theaters.