A black lady navigates white Montana: Beauty and the beasts

Brent Northup

God’s Country

The Myrna Loy

Sandra’s as tough as the cop she once was. She’s as smart as the professor she now is.

But the death of her mom has shaken Sandra. She’s angry, lonely and vulnerable.

She’s a strong, compassionate black woman living beneath the snowy peaks of white Montana.

Sandra chops wood to keep strong, and runs miles on dirt roads to keep fit.

A deep grief runs through her and a long fuse is burning inside.

Julian Higgins’ “God’s Country” is a portrait of grief, racism and sexism set in unidentified rural Montana. On the surface, the story focuses on a showdown between restrained Sandra and trigger-happy hunters in their red pickup.

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Thandiwe Newton in a scene from “God’s Country.”

IFC Films

But a deeper question lurks: Is violence ever a justified response by a black woman living in a bigoted white world?

When trespassing hunters first park on her land, Sandra

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