Writer-director Dee Rees’s historical epic Mudbound, based on the novel by Hillary Jordan, details the daily hardships and vicissitudes of farm life in Mississippi during the post–World War II era. The majority of the  flawless ensemble cast—Carey Mulligan, Mary J. Blige, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Jason Clarke, and Rob Morgan—joined Rees for a press conference at the 55th New York Film Festival. They discussed how they came to the project, the beauty and brutality of the story, reflecting on our collective history, the hurdles in making a film of this scope in just 28 days, why Netflix is the perfect home for the feature, and more.

Mudbound hits Netflix on November 17. To see more events from the 55th New York Film Festival, as well as Film Society events throughout the year, subscribe to our YouTube channel!