Photo: Filmstill from “Hirten”
They live in harmony with the environment and love their animals “as if they were their children.” For months they wander through barren landscapes and live on what nature gives them. Their life is based on a centuries-old culture and is one of the oldest forms of life we know – life as a shepherd and nomad.
HIRTEN follows the lives of five shepherds and their families in Uganda, Kyrgyzstan, Germany, Peru and India. But it is a life far away from the romantic image we have. It is a life under hard conditions in direct contact with nature and its extreme elements – birth, death, storm and sun, rain and drought – all these are fundamental parts of their lives. The film tells the story of their struggles for survival.
HIRTEN is a homage to a dissolving archaic culture and way of life. We learn and experience the high value that the life of the shepherds has for our environment and slowly discover that this traditional way of dealing with nature is threatened. We understand that not only our world, but also theirs, is constantly changing and that shepherds are developing methods to adapt – and that we could perhaps learn from them. It is high time for a filmic appreciation of this underestimated life form with all its harsh and sometimes unpleasant implications.
on TV by October 2020
Director: Mark Michel
Production: Neue Celluloid Fabrik
Music + Audio Production: TELESKOP
ARTE / SWR