A new film telling the story of an isolated British sheep farmer who sparks up an unexpected romance with a farmhand has been dubbed the “British Brokeback Mountain”.
After his father has a stroke, farmer Johnny (Josh O’Connor) takes on the bulk of the work on his family’s rural Yorkshire farm. He numbs his frustration with alcohol and casual sex, until he forms an intense relationship with Romanian migrant Gheorghe, who takes up temporary work on the farm.
God’s Own Country is writer-director Francis Lee’s first feature film, and he said the project came from his wanting to explore what might have happened if he’d stayed in the rural community instead of leaving to study in London.
“Johnny has had to shut down emotionally to ensure the family farm’s survival. His world is turned upside down by the arrival of Gheorghe, drafted in to help with the lambing season,” he said.
“I wanted to capture those feelings of both trepidation and joy that come from the possibilities of something beginning [and] see Johnny and Gheorghe start to fall for each other, investigating how they will deal with each other’s differences.
“I wanted to explore what this encounter might mean for someone who has not only been socially and geographically isolated but who has had to close off any emotional life within a traditional working class community.”
The movie is opening in Palace Cinemas around the country on August 31. Watch the trailer below: