Sweetgrass Poster

New York Times

“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 looks romantic. “Back up there, you bitches,” a herder on horseback yells at his dogs, or maybe the sheep, before going into a long, exceedingly blue and funny tear. Once man and beast make it to pasture, nature overwhelms the screen and even minds: “It’s miserable up here,” a man whines to his mother on a cellphone as the filmmakers cut to the surrounding majesty. [...] It’s a really intimate, beautifully shot examination of the connection between man and beast…

MANOHLA DARGIS (Audio)
The New York Times
September 25, 2009

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