Sweetland Review: A Bittersweet Story About the Difficulty of Change | That Shelf


The town is dying. That’s the start of Christian Sparkes’ new drama Sweetland. It’s not entirely clear why, but the town is metaphorically crumbling. The residents have a chance at government-assisted relocation and job retraining, but the offer is only good if every resident takes it, and Moses Sweetland (Mark Lewis Jones) doesn’t want to.

Moses, you see, is a gruff old man. He’s nearly the last of a line so embedded in the town that it’s not clear if the town got its name from his family or vice versa. He has little reason to leave: his whole life has been spent in the village, and his persistence keeps a few of the other old-timers from wanting to go either.

At its core, this is a very Newfoundland story. Outport communities have been resettled in a number of ways over the last 60 years (and it’s worth noting that the depiction here isn’t quite accurate but works for dramatic purposes), and the death of these small communities comes with a cultural cost. The shortest version of Moses’s motivation here is that he’s never known change, and change is hard, even when someone is leaving you threatening letters made of text cut from magazines.

Link: https://thatshelf.com/sweetland-review-a-bittersweet-story-about-the-difficulty-of-change/