Sweetgrass Poster

2009 Vancouver International Film Festival

Oct 2nd 10:45AM @ Pacific Cinémathèque
Oct 13th 6:30PM @ Vancity Theatre
Oct 15th 1:30PM @ Vancity Theatre
Tickets & More Info
In the beginning, there is sheep. Sheep grazing in a fluffy herd; one stares at the camera; does she register she’s being filmed…? The scene is slightly befuddling, yet entirely intimate. Then, the shearing and the birthing. [...]

“…a really intimate, beautifully shot examination of the connection between man and beast.”

“Sweetgrass” is a pleasantly unhurried look at old-fashioned sheepherding in the age of industrial animal husbandry. Made by Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor without supplemental commentary and with great attention to beauty, this observational documentary focuses on Montana sheepherders who run their flocks up mountains in the summer to graze, grindingly difficult work that only [...]


Tracing the very last sheep drive up Montana’s Beartooth Mountains to summer pasture, “Sweetgrass” offers a one-of-a-kind experience. Its visuals range from sheep-level closeups to soaring overviews, while its complex source soundtrack seamlessly melds human and ovine contributions. At once epic-scale and earthbound, Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor’s startling docu plays like a mad cross [...]

"…transportive in the best of traditions."

Sweetgrass provides an altogether different journey–into the hills of Montana sheep farming. While the film is difficult to categorize, it”s extremely beautiful, and it sticks with you. — <a target="blank" href="http://wbx.me/l/?p=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.filmlinc.com%2Fb%2F%3Fp%3D395">The Filmlink Blog, September 23, 2009</a>

“The rhythms of the pasturing are as alluring as the rhythms of the film itself.”

Three documentaries are included in the first half of the festival. The most impressive is Sweetgrass, an American doc by Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor. The duo visits a sheep ranch in Montana, then accompanies two veteran cowboys while they take the large flock 150 miles across gorgeous mountains to let the animals feed the [...]

A Cinema Guild Release | © 2009 All Rights Reserved | sweetgrass@me.com.