Shepherds' Journey Into the Third Millennium | Chicago Reader

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As pastoral as the day is long, this 2002 documentary by Erich Langjahr takes an unhurried look at Switzerland's few remaining itinerant shepherds, whose trade has barely changed since the Middle Ages. Much of the film follows the seasonal wanderings of stolidly handsome Thomas Landis and his equally handsome flock across the breathtakingly beautiful Alpine plateaus of Lucerne. Langjahr's agenda is bluntly antimodern, though he steers clear of new age sentimentality and squarely confronts the shepherds' hardships. Worth seeing for the scenery alone, the film is nearly wordless and thus light on exposition; some background on the history and economics of this archaic business would have been welcome. In German with subtitles. 124 min.

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