For a film with such little dialogue, it mosdef packed a punch with me. Quan’an Wang wrote and directed a film that begins with a murder case and takes us on an introspective journey into social gender roles. To be honest, I was not expecting that. I was totally expecting this to be a film that explored what happened to the young woman that was murdered at the beginning of the film. But as luck had in store for me. I got a cinematic treat.
Wang’s ability for us to dig deeper into the society that the gun-totting, alcohol drinking female sheepherder’s life was beautiful. She displays an aspect of her existence as resolute and unabashed as almost any role for a woman that I have ever seen. The Herder was played by Aorigeletu. She owned this role. Her seductive ways were matched by her clear focus on existing on her own terms. I enjoyed how she weaved in and out of the story. She carried the film along with the amazing camera work by Avmerick Pilarski.
Pilarski basically co-starred in this film. His cinematography made for a film that you could actually enjoy without any dialog. That is how powerful his work was in this film. The landscape shots in this film were just beautiful. I felt as though the film really required a vision that Piarski and Wang created together for the viewers. It worked for me. Even with the everyday brutality of life and death through the use of animals created a very special film experience. One that couldn’t be created here, in the United States.
Sadly this film is going to be difficult to find. However, if you are able to see this film. It is a must watch.
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