In the summer of 2003, a group of shepherds took a herd of sheep one final time through the Beartooth Mountains of Montana, in the extreme north-west of the United States. It was a journey ...
See full summary »
Exposing her role behind the camera, Kirsten Johnson reaches into the vast trove of footage she has shot over decades around the world. What emerges is a visually bold memoir and a revelatory interrogation of the power of the camera.
Caniba is a film that reflects on the discomforting significance of cannibalistic desire in human existence through the prism of one Japanese man, Issei Sagawa, and his mysterious relationship with his brother, Jun Sagawa.
In the summer of 2003, a group of shepherds took a herd of sheep one final time through the Beartooth Mountains of Montana, in the extreme north-west of the United States. It was a journey of almost three hundred kilometres through expansive green valleys, by fields of snow, and across hazardous, narrow ridges - a journey brimming with challenges. The aging shepherds do their very best to keep the hundreds of sheep together; the panoramic high mountains are teeming with hungry wolves and grizzly bears.Written by
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
At one point in this wonderful work, the camera is high in the Montana Beartooths above the cowboys with their 3000 sheep coming up the mountain for some good-weather grazing. The woolies are getting to be all over the place and you see a lone cowboy in the saddle with the help of a few sheepdogs corraling the herd purely by the way he moves his horse around and by the calls he makes. Gracefully and neatly he tightens up the herd and turns it in the direction he wants the little bleaters to go. He creates a fence invisible 'round his woolies.
It's that kind of skill, no, art that is so evident in these guys: keeping order in the herd, whittling rough branches for the spines of their tents, sleeping with one ear open for sounds of bear and wolverine, sharpshooting in the night aided only by lamp. These guys do it all and well. They can also midwife a ewe in the crisis of giving birth, find an udder for an orphaned lamb and cleanly, expertly fleece these critters when the wool is heavy.
These cowboys never get rich inspite of a bagful of skills and talents that leave the viewer in respectful admiration. Watching the travail of these guys makes you realize you have never in your life known the true meaning of "hard work."
This is a documentary without any taped-on background music and without any warm-toned narrator telling you what you're seeing. Not even Morgan Freeman. The footage tells the story without extraneous aids. The absence of other noise is welcome. This piece is awesome but it's also funny, not just in the humanity of the cowboys. There's some real comic talent among those woolies, too. Jim Smith
25 of 32 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this