Pascal, 53, and Carole, 28, are shepherds. In the month of November 2010, they embark on their long winter transhumance: four months during which they will have to cover 600 km in the Swiss region, accompanied by three donkeys, four dogs and eight hundred sheep.
An exceptional adventure is about to begin: They brave the cold and the bad weather day in and day out, with a canvas cover and animal skins as their only shelter at night. This saga reveals a tough and exacting profession requiring constant improvisation and unflinching attention to nature, the animals and the cosmos.
An odyssey through a region undergoing profound changes that render this kind of expedition more difficult every year, particularly when the grass for the sheep has to be found between villas, railroad tracks and industrial areas.
An eventful journey with surprise encounters, moving reunions with farmer friends, nostalgic figures of country life that is shrinking away fast.
A film dominated by the strong personalities of Pascal and Carole, whose relationship and joie de vivre transform this transhumance into a magnificent hymn to freedom, at opposite extremes of our comfortable reality.
is an adventure film, a contemporary road movie, a reflection of our current world, which takes us back to our roots and our inner questions.
"An exhilarating vérité work!" —Sheri Linden, LA Tmes
World Premiere, Berlinale Film Festival
Spotlight Award Nominatee, American Society of Cinematographers
Golden Frog, Grand Prix, Camerimage
Herisson d'Argent, Frapna International Film Festival
Best Documentary, European Film Academy
Best Camera & Best Editing, Prix du Cinema Suisse
Young Onion Award, Makedox Film Festival
In Competition, Documenta Madrid Film Festival
Public Award, Trento Film Festival
ET3 Award, DOC FEST Thessaloniki
Official Selection, Zagreb Dox Film Festival
Official Selection, Belgrade Magnificent7
Official Selection, Goetborg International Film Festival
Special mention, Autrans Film Festival
Best of Fest, Amsterdam IDFA Film Festival
In Competition, Festival dei Popoli Film Festival
In Competition, Filmtage-Tuebingen
Official Selection, Muestra de Buenos-Aires Film Festival
In Competition, Flahertiana Internatinoal Film Festival
In Competition, Reykjavik Internatinoal Film Festival
Golden Bayard for Best Photography & Audience Award, Namur FIFF
In Competition, Nara Internatinoal Film Festival
Special Jury Mention, Der Neue Heimatfilm
Best Script, Seattle Internatinoal Film Festival
Official Selection, 27th DocFest Munchen Internatinoal Film Festival
Golden Gate Award, San Francisco Internatinoal Film Festival
Best Swiss Film, Visions du Reel Internatinoal Film Festival
Official Selection, Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
"Swiss-born director Manuel von Stürler applies a vérité approach to their undertaking, gently drawing upon the rough, bucolic romance of the 'transhumance'." —Nicolas Rapold, The New York Times
"Showcases nature, but its real theme is its subjects' engagement with their work... Visuals don't skimp on the adorable." —Jay Weissberg, Variety
"As beautiful as it is bleak." —Village Voice
"Highly recommended! An exercise in the orchestration of animals toward a goal." —Educational Media Reviews Online