Berlinale: Programme

Film file


God's Own Country

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Young Johnny is running his ailing father’s farm in Yorkshire, England. The communication between father and son reflects their adverse living and working conditions, the father’s utterances mostly being restricted to terse criticism of his son. Johnny’s grandmother plays her part stoically. A frustrated Johnny endures his strenuous daily routine. In a bid to escape the harsh daily grind, he has no-strings sex with men, or gets drunk at the local pub. In the spring, a farm hand is taken on for the season. Romanian Gheorghe is the same age as Johnny, who at first eyes him with suspicion. The initial tension between the two men soon gives way to an intense relationship. This opens up completely new prospects but also presents new challenges for Johnny. In his feature-length debut, Francis Lee finds authentic images to depict farm life as one of privation. His film concentrates on the glances and gestures of his characters and their immediate physicality. The archaic landscape of ‘God’s own country’ as the locals call their county, perfectly reflects the turmoil going on inside the protagonists.

Francis Lee

United Kingdom 2017


104’ · Colour


Josh O'Connor (Johnny Saxby)
Alec Secăreanu (Gheorghe Ionescu)
Ian Hart (Martin Saxby)
Gemma Jones (Deirdre Saxby)


Written and Directed by
Francis Lee
Joshua James Richards
Chris Wyatt
Sound Design
Anna Bertmark
Phil Cape
Production Design
Stéphane Collonge
Sian Jenkins
Bean Ellis
Shaheen Baig, Layla Merrick-Wolf
Assistant Director
Ted Mitchell
Production Manager
Katie Bleakley
Manon Ardisson, Jack Tarling
Executive Producers
Diarmid Scrimshaw, Anna Duffield, Mary Burke, Celine Haddad, Paul Webster, Cavan Ash, Richard Holmes


Francis Lee

Born in Yorkshire, UK where he also grew up, after training at the Rose Bruford College he worked intitially as an actor in theatre, television and film before writing his first screenplay for the short film Bantam. His directing debut The Farmer's Wife and its successors Bradford-Halifax-London and The Last Smallholder screened at many international film festivals and won numerous awards. God's Own Country is his first feature-length film.


2012 The Farmer's Wife; short film 2013 Bradford-Halifax-London; short film 2014 The Last Smallholder; short film 2017 God's Own Country

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2017

Produced by


Shudder Films

World Sales

Protagonist Pictures