Saturday, September 26 2009 @ 2:15 PM
From the NYFF schedule:
Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor, 2009, US, 105m
This breathtaking chronicle follows an ever-surprising group of modern-day cowboys as they lead an enormous herd of sheep up and then down the slopes of the Beartooth Mountains in Montana on their way to market. Call it an abstract Western or the last round-up. Filmmakers Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor spent three summers in Montana documenting the process by which sheep are raised, ranched, sheered, and driven hundreds of miles to graze in high pastures of Sweet Grass county. The mode is strictly observational, and there is plenty to see—and hear. Sweetgrass is routinely awe-inspiring and often hilarious. As David D’Arcy reported from the Berlin Film Festival where the documentary had its premiere, “the sheep aren’t just in the landscape, they are the landscape.” The Big Sky country has never looked more spectacular—or, thanks to the ranchers as well as their animals, sounded more cacophonous—and, after Sweetgrass, it will never look the same.