Sweetgrass Poster

Filmmakers’ Biographies

Barbash and Castaing‐Taylor’s work seeks to conjugate the ambiguity and provocations of art with a documentary attachment to the immediate flux of lived experience. Working in Montana since 2001, they have deployed different stylistic registers in film, video, and photography to evoke at once the attractions and the ambivalence of the pastoral by juxtaposing monumental and mythological Western landscapes with multiple tracks of subjective synchronous sound. Forthcoming video works of Castaing-Taylor’s in 2010 include Hell Roaring Creek, Coom Biddy, Into‐the‐jug (geworfen), Turned at the Pass, Breakfast, Daybreak on the Bed Ground, Bedding Down, and The High Trail… (Read more)

Recordist’s Statement

We began work on this film in the spring of 2001. Living at the time in Colorado, we heard about a family of Norwegian‐American sheepherders in Montana, who were among the last to trail their band of sheep long distances — about a hundred and fifty familes each year, all of it on hoof — up to the mountains for summer pasture. I visited them that April during lambing, and was so taken with the magnitude of their life — at once its allure and its arduousness — that we ended up working with them, their friends, and their Irish‐American hired hands intensively over the coming years… (Read more)


Producer’s Statement

“I am the last guy to do this and someone ought to make a film about it.” So spoke oldtime rancher Lawrence Allested in 2001, about the fact that he was the last person to drive his sheep up into Montana’s Absaroka‐Beartooth mountain range on a grazing permit that had been handed down in his Norwegian‐American family for generations. Filmmakers and anthropologists living at the time in Boulder, Colorado, we had wanted to make a film about the American West, and were instantly intrigued by the topic… (Read more)


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