For centuries, the region of Ukraine containing the Carpathian Mountains has offered the Htsul people a livelihood in rearing sheep. Although this way of life has a long and proud tradition, modern conveniences have encroached, and the vocation is losing its appeal to the younger generations. Ostap Kostyuk’s meditative and poignant documentary follows three shepherds over the course of four years: the experienced 83-year-old Ivan, no longer able to devote his summer to the practice; 39-year-old Vasyl; and 10-year-old Ivanko, a schoolboy whose reluctance to follow in his father’s footsteps is emblematic of this vanishing vocation.
Notes by Kevin Coyne
This film is screening as part of Untold Ukraine. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to Nova Ukraine, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to providing humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine. For additional donations to the Untold Ukraine project, click here.