Mudbound Review

The title of Mudbound isn’t just a metaphor, but it’s a great one. Dee Rees’s lyrical new American tragedy gets down in the dirt to tell the story of two farming families whose lives are intertwined, whether they like it or not. It opens with two men digging a grave as it fills with torrential rainwater, a scene which evolves into a perfect encapsulation of almost everything Dee Rees’s characters go through over the course of their difficult tale, even though the reasons why won’t be apparent until the very end.

Mudbound tells the story of the McAllans and the Jacksons. The McAllans are a white family, used to fine things, now living off the land and not terribly happy about it. The Jacksons are tenant farmers who work the McAllans’ land, but as a black family in the 1940s, they are still beholden to the whims of their white landlords. Requests are orders in disguise, and orders are not to be refused.

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