Sweetgrass follows one of the West’s last groups of honest-to-goodness cowboys on their last sheep drive into Montana’s Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. You’d think it would make for a wearying couple of hours. But Sweetgrass—a big hit at the 2010 New York Film Festival—is beautiful, and far from boring. Catch it on Tuesday, July 5, on PBS’s POV.
The cowboys—members of the Norwegian-American Allestad family—have been working this land, and making this drive, for generations. They’re as cool as you’d expect them to be. But the animals—close-miked in ways that make the most panoramic shots seem hallucinatorily intimate—are the real stars here, and their emergence as fully formed characters is just one of the small-scale miracles this modest but epic film pulls off.
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