Sweetgrass Poster

Night In the Lens

The documentary Sweetgrass, which shows the last, hardy sheep herders of the Beartooth Mountains of Montana driving their flock for the final few times, is not a work that invites words in reply to the soaring, majestic beauty and raw, environmental reality that it depicts. Rather, it demands a manner of patience, watchfulness, and repose [...]

DVD Town

Though “Sweetgrass” (2009), which can inadequately be summarized as “a documentary about a sheep drive in Montana,” is one of the more visually arresting digital films I have seen in some time, its enveloping soundtrack leaves the most enduring impression. The film is saturated, make that besotted, with the sounds of wind howling, sheep bleating, [...]

Once Grazing, Now Gone: SWEETGRASS

Megan Ratner discusses what makes a minimalist film about sheepherding so powerful For nearly ten seconds, wind howls over a black screen. Mildly unsettling, the spare opening sets the tone for Sweetgrass, a lyrical documentary about modern-day sheepherders in the American West. Preceding the actual title, the film cuts to a beauty shot of [...]

Reverse Direction

Filmmakers Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor are both anthropologists based at Harvard University — she is curator of visual anthropology at
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The Fence Post

Bloody carnage accompanied by the cries of the doomed is considered a good, almost divine ingredient if the butchery is instigated by wolves. Picture a high-mountain meadow where bands of sheep graze. Imagine yourself a sheepherder responsible for caring for the flock. You’re a light sleeper, so when the Great Pyrenees guard dogs bark [...]

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