HIRTENREISE INS DRITTE JAHRTAUSEND
Switzerland / 2002 / 124'
From the depths of the valleys to the highest mountain pastures, from encampments in the open air to fireplaces in mountain refuges, from January to December, beneath the snow, or sweltering sun. Erich Langjahr has followed the shepherds on the move in the Swiss Alps to the dawn of the third millennium. Capturing in close-up the weather-beaten faces of the men and women at work and capturing, at the same time, the metaphysical splendour of the landscapes, the film director takes us on a truly unusual transhumance. Apart from its purely economic aspects, the shepherd’s life represents a way of living and relationship with a world far removed from the excesses of capitalism. After Ballade sur l’alpage (1996) and Guerre des Paysans (1998) this film is the third part of a trilogy devoted to the rural world, perceived as a place of profound existential questioning.
Born in Switzerland in 1944, he has worked as an independent director since 1971. His work, mostly made up of documentaries and often filmed in Switzerland, includes among others “Justice” (1973), “Sieg der Ordnung” (1976) and “Made in Switzerland” (1981). In 1986 his film “Ex voto” was awarded prizes at the festivals of Nyon and Leipzog. “Männer im Ring”, dedicated to the last male canton council in Hundwill, has also been given numerous awards.