Sweetgrass follows some of our country’s last cowboys on their annual trip to Montana’s Absaroka‐Beartooth mountains for summer pasture. The footage is, for lack of a better word, breathtaking, and I often found myself shaking my head in disbelief, taken aback by the magnitude of some of the shots. The film is void of any sentimental music or narration, and is instead voiced by the unintended humor of the cowboys, the dumb/LOUD sheep and the sounds and realities of spending three months in Big Sky country.
Lucien Castaing-Taylor, the film’s director, spent a summer filming the journey, coming back in the fall with twenty less pounds on his bones, 300 hours of footage and trauma induced degenerative arthritis, caused by carrying the equipment day and night. Lucien and his wife, fellow director Ilisa Barbash, returned to the farm for two more summers, but ended up using most of the footage from the first summer to make Sweetgrass.
Check here to see when Sweetgrass is coming to a theater near you. For those of you in New York, last night was it’s final night at Film Forum, but rumor is it’s going to be playing at Cinema Village, so keep your eyes open. Trailer is after the jump.