Mudbound | Chicago Reader

Mudbound

In rural Mississippi, two poor families—one black and the other white—try to absorb the social impact of World War II, whose common hardships on the battlefield called into question, as never before, the segregation of the races back home. Adapted from a novel by Hillary Jordan, the movie is dramatically stodgy but historically astute, showing how the black family (Mary J. Blige, Rob Morgan), scraping by as tenant farmers for the white folks (Jason Clarke, Carey Mulligan), are pulled into a power relationship not far removed from the slavery of their ancestors. Each family sends a man into combat, and when these two return (Jason Mitchell, Garrett Hedlund), their friendship provokes the local Klan chapter; the climax is highly predictable but no less awful when it arrives. Dee Rees (Pariah) directed a script she cowrote with Virgil Williams; the players are uniformly excellent.

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