Actor-turned-filmmaker Francis Lee can’t be accused of pussyfooting with his debut feature “God’s Own Country.” You’re barely 10 minutes into this low-budget “Brokeback Mountain” and Lee has done just about everything to shoo you away with images such as a hungover man vomiting, a human arm elbow-deep inside a pregnant cow’s vagina and a scene depicting rough, impersonal gay sex.

It’s as if Lee is purposely trying to drive away the indie-film sycophants by saying: “This is how I work. If it offends you, I don’t want you watching. So, go away.” But if you do shun his uncompromising style, know that you’re only cheating yourself; for this is filmmaking that goes deep — and I’m not just talking about the aforementioned cow — in attempting to reinvent gay cinema. He’s not always successful in his endeavor, but it sure is fun watching him try.

For one, who ever heard of a director opening his film with the camera pointed at the back of the head of the leading man as he empties his stomach into the bathroom sink? But that’s how Lee rolls in introducing us to Johnny Saxby, the young, hard-drinking son of a Yorkshire sheep rancher. Times are hard on “the farm” now that Dad (Ian Hart doing a lot with a little) has had a debilitating stroke. Fences (metaphor alert!) are crumbling, the livestock is neglected and Josh O’Connor’s surly, self-loathing Johnny spends half his days frequenting the local pub to drown his perceived sorrows.

His old mates have moved on to university, leaving him behind to nurse a bleak future of becoming the lone caretaker for his aging Nana (a wise-and-knowing Jemma Jones), invalid dad and their failing farm. O’Connor does nothing to restrain Johnny’s bitterness and self-destructive attitude, rendering his character extremely unlikable. But just about the time you’re ready to secede from this dank, muddy pity party, HE walks in. And by “he” I mean Alec Secareanu’s Romanian hunk, Gheorghe. He’s the new hired hand Dad has brought on to help Johnny during the all-important lambing season.

At first, Johnny eyes the charismatic newcomer with contempt, jealous of his competence and mature attitude. But as the two young men head off to a distant area of the farm to welcome the new lambs into the world, Johnny starts to see Gheorghe in a whole new light, especially when the devilishly handsome Slav takes off his shirt and stands tall and virile against the equally gorgeous Yorkshire moors. To borrow a phrase from “Brokeback Mountain,” from that point on Johnny can’t quit him.

For the first time, Johnny is in love. But he has zero knowledge about what a real relationship entails. And being that Johnny and Gheorghe are men of such few words, Lee has his work cut out for him in presenting a courtship progressing in almost total silence. Thus, he’s putting enormous pressure on his two terrific actors to do all their work with facial expressions and body language. Most notably the latter, as the two men bare all — and I mean all. You wonder why Lee is so fixated on their exposed genitalia. Is he out to correct the comparatively mild, punch-pulling sex in “Brokeback Mountain”? If so, it works to an extent, but after a while “God’s Own Country” begins to border on gay porn. Lee saves himself — and his movie — in the final 40 minutes when the two lovers return to civilization, where Johnny lets the same old insecurities get the better of him after his father suffers a second stroke. These are the scenes where Lee is at his nimblest, perfectly balancing the passion with the pathos. But like a lot of novice filmmakers, he makes the mistake of giving into conventionality at the very end, as Johnny and Gheorghe must decide where to take their volatile relationship next. It’s a disappointing bit of audience pandering by a director who spent the previous 90 minutes constantly challenging us.

What are consistent are the exquisite contributions of cinematographer Joshua James Richards, who delivers one breathtaking view after another of the rolling grasslands of northern England. It’s a land of rough-hewn beauty that Lee knows very well having grown up there on his father’s farm. You can feel his love for his home turf in every scene; just as you can sense his love for his flawed, often-confused characters. They may not always do right, but it’s clear their motivations are nothing but honest and true, as they stumble toward sorting out this mess we call life.

“God’s Own Country?

Cast: Josh O’Connor, Alec Secareanu, Ian Hart and Gemma Jones.

(Unrated. Contains sex and nudity, obscenity, drinking and some upsetting scenes of life and death on a farm.)

Grade: B