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In the Mississippi Delta of the 1940s, two farming families—one of white landholders, one of Black tenant farmers—are bound by the unforgiving soil they share as they struggle to survive amid the upheavals of World War II and the poisonous hatred of the Jim Crow South. Each family sends a young man off to battle; when they return home, scarred, and find a common bond, the community is ripped apart. Writer-director Dee Rees, with cowriter Virgil Williams, crafts a uniquely American tragedy, imbuing bitter historical realities with a timeless weight. Featuring bone-deep performances from her ensemble cast—including Carey Mulligan, Mary J. Blige, Jason Mitchell, Rob Morgan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke, and Jonathan Banks—and backed by Rachel Morrison’s darkly burnished cinematography, Mudbound is a searing humanist study of inheritance based upon Hillary Jordan’s novel.