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A Beautiful and Violent Place

​In this Neo-American western, Joel returns home to avenge the death of his first love. Searching for retribution in the decaying landscape of his childhood, he soon learns that closure cannot be found through acts of violence.

  • Sam T McFarland
  • Sam T McFarland
  • Xavier Coleman
  • Tess Raih
  • Julien Cornwall
  • Sam Marra
    Key Cast
  • Manon Halliburton
    Key Cast
  • Tamás A. Méder
  • Suja Ono
    Production Designer
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Drama, Neo-Western
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 51 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 31, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Hungary, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Sam T McFarland

I first began working in film as an after school job in high school, editing for a local video production company. After attending UNC - Chapel Hill for two years, I transferred up to the New School, where I finished with a degree in screen studies. Since graduation I've lived in New York, New Orleans, India, London, and Western Massachusetts; worked as a writer, director, editor and producer on multiple short films, as well as penning two feature-length scripts. In 2019, I graduated from the London Film School with an MA in filmmaking. I currently live in Dharamshala, India where I teach film in the Tibetan community.

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Director Statement

I consider myself fortunate to have been abroad during the years following the Trump election. I was able to be witness to the changes that took place in my country with a more observational eye. In many ways, A Beautiful and Violent Place is a response to the election and the emotional aftermath. The outcome seemed traumatic to many people, but there was never any attempt at finding closure. There was so much anger, and seemingly no direction to take it. In hindsight the outcome also felt inevitable; not only due to the political landscape of the country, but because of the cyclical nature of time. And so the film sets out to explore these ideas: of the impossibility of closure through anger, and the inevitability of trauma as time comes back around.