Sweetgrass Poster

Of Sheep And More Sheep

“Sweetgrass” is a hard film to recommend. Not because I don”t want to recommend it, but because of what it is. It”s the kind of film where you can sometimes hear the projector behind you like a shuffling deck of cards — the kind of film you might have to watch in a class someday, [...]

Gay City News

If veteran documentarian Frederick Wiseman ever made a Western, I’m sure it would resemble “Sweetgrass.” In many respects, the film hews to the rules established by ’60s cinema verité. In fact, it goes further than many films from that period by throwing the spectator into an alien world without explaining any context. Lucien Castaing-Taylor eschews [...]


Since the late 19th century, sheep ranchers in Montana have driven their herds into the Absaroka-Beartooth mountain range to graze on the summer grass. Sweetgrass (Cinema Guild), a gorgeous and contemplative documentary by Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor, accompanies the last-ever sheep drives into the Beartooth range. The film, culled down from 200 hours of [...]

Film Comment

Part elegy and part update, Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor’s documentary follows ranchers and their sea of sheep on a historic final run to summer pastures. Shot in long shots, the spirit-freeing vistas of Montana’s Beartooth Mountains reverberate with the echoes of decades of Westerns (and cigarette ads) even as the use of close miking [...]

Curator Magazine

Shepherding Artistic Objectivity
essay writer
Whether unashamedly biased or covertly slanted, American documentaries are generally so politically charged that we’ve become accustomed to asking, “How much of it was true?”
This is an unfortunate fate for an art form. Why? Because polemics eventually turn audiences into skeptics, skeptics into cynics, and cynics into people who don’t like art. [...]

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