Mudbound is a period drama set in 1940s Mississippi, adapted from a novel by Hillary Jordan. Steeped in racial divide, abject poverty and the literal all-consuming-mud of a rural town in the Deep South, a white and black family struggle side by side to survive from one harvest to the next. A filth-covered stellar cast bring grit and realism to the emotive film, including Carey Mulligan as Laura McAllen, Jason Clarke as her dimwitted racist husband Henry, stripped-back-as-never-seen-before Mary J Blige as Florence Jackson, Rob Morgan as her husband Hap, then Jason Mitchell as Ronsel Jackson, whose eyes are opened to another world during his time deployed as a sergeant in Europe in World War II, and Garrett Hedlund as Henry’s brother Jamie, suffering post-traumatic stress syndrome from his experience as a bomber plane pilot. Dee Rees’s vision is exceptionally executed to deliver an unflinching depiction of racism and poverty via impeccable cinematography and a truly committed cast.
We were there to catch the creative team and cast as they hit the red carpet for the European premiere at the BFI London Film Festival.
We had a chat with the lovely Carey Mulligan who spoke about her role as the downtrodden wife of Henry McAllen, Laura, who finds herself “dreaming in brown”, surrounded by the mud, death and toil of country life.
Jason Clarke, who plays her husband Henry, spoke about the challenges of filming in 40-degree heat and surrounded by mosquitos.
The incredibly sharp-witted and articulate Dee Rees told us about why she wanted and how she adapted Jordan’s novel for the screen, the violent realism of the film and the issue of diversity in filmmaking.
Producers Kim Roth and Charles King explained the challenges of bringing the film to screen, not least the gruelling conditions of filming, and the benefits of organisations like Netflix for opening up new opportunities in the film industry.
By Sarah Bradbury. First published on The Upcoming on 5th October 2017.
Videos: Daniel Boylett
Mudbound is relased on Netflix on 17th November 2017.
Read more reviews and interviews from our London Film Festival 2017 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the official BFI website here.