You are not likely to see a better film about herding sheep in Montana than this out-of-left-field documentary stunner. Filmed over the course of three years in the early 2000s, Sweetgrass takes you on a yearlong journey of sheep and the men, women and dogs who raise them. The film is composed of long, meditative takes, with no narration or direct address to the camera. Instead, you see timeless rituals: the lambing ewes, the frantic efforts to save sick animals, the shearing and then, most spectacularly, the summer-long overland trek to the sweetgrass of the higher elevations.
Among the delights are the remarkably coarse cowboys; among the terrors are the bears and wolves that are drawn to this woolly buffet table moving through their midst.
The movie trailer and show times are available at www.sweetgrassthemovie.com.
This film is an excellent teaching tool regarding themes of environmental sustainability, the grass-fed movement, organic farming and the American West.
According to sheep producers in Montana, they are pleased with the portrayal of the industry and of the Allesteds, long-time members of the Montana Wool Growers Association.