An unsentimental elegy to the American West, Sweetgrass follows the last modern-day cowboys to lead their flocks of sheep up into Montana's breathtaking and often dangerous Absaroka-Beartooth Mountains for summer pasture. This astonishingly beautiful yet unsparing film reveals a world in which nature and culture, animals and humans, vulnerability and violence are all intimately meshed.
Insight into a tough life
- Sweetgrass review by David
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You rated this film: 4
This follows sheep farmers and herders from taking care of day to day business on the farm to a long trek across the Absaroka-Beartooth mountains of Montana, apparently to provide the sheep with summer grazing for the last time. Personally I liked the lack of narration, even though it makes it very hard to work out who these people are or what exactly they're trying to do; but you can pretty much fill in the gaps as you go. I think just filming it gives a better feel for that life anyway. It shows how this hard life can condition a guy so that he's more in touch with the animals than the human beings around him. In contrast we see a much younger man frustrated with the prospect of settling for this lifestyle.
Many great shots of the mountain landscape and of the behaviour of the herd over this sometimes difficult terrain.
Just so unusual for anyone unfamiliar with this lifestyle that it's definitely worth a watch.
I have already written a review for this but it hasn't been published because the main criticism was reserved for Cinema Paradiso. Both on the CP website and on the label of the DVD this film states that French actors Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteil are in the cast. Indeed I only came across this title because of a search with the actors. They aren't in this film. This is a turgidly boring, self-indulgent documentary that is not worth wasting 110 minutes of your life with.
I only got it because of an error by Cinema Paradiso and 2 days on I still am waiting for an explanation/apology not to mention a credit for YOUR ERROR!!!!!!