Adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name, Mudbound is a poignant film from director Dee Rees and co-writer Virgil Williams about two families, one white and one black, struggling to work an unforgiving land during WWII.

Laura (Carey Mulligan), an educated 30-something virgin, marries man of few words Henry McAllan (Jason Clarke) to avoid being labeled a spinster. She thinks marriage will help her be seen and valued, but soon realizes that isn’t necessarily the case.

Henry makes a unilateral decision to uproot the family to a farm on the Mississippi delta – a handshake deal that turns out to be a scam. With nowhere to go, they’re forced to move to a derelict house down the way, roll up their sleeves and go to work as tenant farmers. It’s not the life Laura signed up for; it’s foreign and frightening and her outlook soon becomes as poor as the quality of the land itself. The only source of comfort is Jamie (Garrett Hedlund), Henry’s brother, who returns home from war and understands a thing or two about being a being unseen and devalued.

Life is even worse for the Jackson family down the road who not only struggle with a lack of money and resources but the prejudices of their neighbors in the Jim Crow South. Hap (Rob Morgan), the patriarch of the family, goes from providing for his brood to out of commission from a nasty injury and their eldest Ronsel (Jason Mitchell), who would logically take up the mantle, is fighting on the front lines abroad. Florence (Mary J. Blige) and her younger children are forced to go to work. She ends up serving as a caregiver to the McAllans, all while pulling double duty at home. She has to; the Jacksons’ eyes are set on owning land of their own one day and with plenty of sweat, tears, and yes, blood, they’ll get there.

ScreenPicks correspondent Erica Corbin sat down with the stars of the film, Garrett Hedlund, Carey Mulligan, Mary J. Blige (Florence), as well as director Dee Rees to discuss their thoughts on the film and the characters that make it great.

Check it out!

Mudbound is currently streaming on Netflix!