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Ágústa Eva Erlendsdóttir,
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Slow burn feud between neighbours over land and money
El Pastor (The Shepherd) is a movie about a 55 year old man who has lived his whole life on one plot of land. He lives by himself, with no family to speak of, with his dog and his herd of sheep. Living a small life with few comforts of modern life (he has electricity, but no heating, TV, or phone) he is content in his lot in life, going into the local village when needed, and friendly with his neighbors.
All that is interrupted when a local construction company offers to buy his land and the plots around his for a major development. While everyone else is willing to sell, he refuses, and with his being the centre plot, the development is on hold, and nobody is getting paid. The previously friendly neighbours get pitted each other due to greed and other forces.
This is not a huge film, and it takes time before any real conflict happens. But it does a good job of taking its time to establish Anselmo (the shepherd), who he is and what drives him. Some may feel that it drags, but it feels real and not like a waste of time. The driving force behind Anselmo's not wanting to sell his land also is fully established, and allows the viewer to understand where he is coming from.
On the other side of the conflict, the motives for those who want to sell, and what they're willing to do doesn't feel unrealistic. While it may become severe, the lengths taken don't seem like they are totally crazy. This leads to an ending that is well deserved, tense and thrilling.
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