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Sweetgrass2009

  • 4.3
The last major sheep drive across the Montana Beartooth Mountains is the nominal "focus" of this critically acclaimed documentary. But SWEETGRASS encompasses far more in its complex combination of Howard Hawks Western, nature film and sensory recording: work and labor, the decline of the American frontier, nature and the pastoral idyll and the relationship between humans and the land. Inserting himself (literally) into a 3,000-strong herd of sheep hoofing across Montana’s breathtaking Big Sky country, filmmaker Lucien Castaing-Taylor dutifully records seemingly every baaah, bleat and mountaintop scramble, all while two cowboys and their dogs maintain order (or try to). A lone sheep's face; a nap against a tree; a broken-down, sorrowful phone call ("I hate these mountains"), recorded against the vast beauty of a landscape that will outlive it all. Simultaneously ethereal and earthly, the deceptively simple SWEETGRASS may focus in on the sheep but it also unveils the majestic and stands as an essential meditation on the natural world and our place within it. - Jason Sanders

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"The movie truly belongs to the sheep, which turn out to be fascinating, almost hypnotic subjects for the camera..." - Manohla Dargis, New York Times


Member Reviews (6)

9f1f2077d60b214c55e0a0092370f8a6?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2fmale%2favatar m 0031
top reviewer

We are very lucky to have this record ofthis. Mind boggleing scenic vistas, and closeup and personal detail, weave a rough and raw tapestry of this way of life. The audio track is pure open mic. no narration, no music, just the sounds of the sheep,dogs, people, and horses. The Absaroka-Beartooth wilderness does have actual Bears, and they eat a sheep or two before they're drven off with gunfire. These are truly precious images. I heartily recommend this film!

2 members like this review
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top reviewer

Be sure to check out Bakhtiari Migration if you enjoyed Sweetgrass.

If you're from Montana the magic of these cowboys might not be very entertaining... Just sayin...

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Totally engaging, beautifully done...you get the sense of seeing the whole cycle of a year for these sheepherders.

Excellent, reminded me of home.