God’s Own Country, streaming on Netflix, is so gritty, earthy and real I could almost smell the sheep shit. Some of the sex scenes were quite gritty, too. Johnny’s and Gheorghe’s physical need for one another is so intense the scenes reach a level of eroticism rarely seen in a movie.
The film is also good at making us see Johnny’s isolation, depression and rage. Before Gheorghe shows up, he’s so inside of himself and so overwhelmed with work he hardly knows what he wants or what would make him happy. Johnny hates his life. The honesty in the way the film shows Johnny’s suffering triggered my own feelings of depression and desperation. I almost turned it off in the beginning.
But Gheorghe brings tenderness and warmth to the farm. Gheorghe is a nurturer who cares for the land and the animals. Johnny sees how much care he puts into helping bring the lambs into the world. When one appears to be stillborn, Gheorghe breathes life into him. Gheorghe breathes life into Johnny, too.