×

The Last Shepherd

The urban world's yearning for a supposedly simpler era is resulting in a vogue for pastoral subjects, exemplified by Marco Bonfanti's "The Last Shepherd."

With:
With: Renato Zucchelli, Piero Lombardi, Lucia Zucchelli, Hedi Krissane. (Italian, Gai dialogue)

The urban world’s yearning for a supposedly simpler era is resulting in a vogue for pastoral subjects, exemplified by Marco Bonfanti’s “The Last Shepherd.” Falling under the hazy label of “creative documentary,” the pic follows Renato Zucchelli, one of the last of his kind, as he moves his sheep from mountainous pastures to literally the center of Milan. Combining reality with obviously scripted passages meant to emphasize fairy-tale elements of Zucchelli’s life, Bonfanti is saved from accusations of twee manipulation thanks to his subject’s natural ebullience. Fests and ancillary will flock together.

Shepherding doesn’t run in Zucchelli’s family: He chose this profession, much against the expectations of his elders. Because it’s his true calling, the hefty pastoralist is the perfect proselytizer for a way of life fast disappearing in the Western world. Together with toothless older associate Piero Lombardi, Sancho Panza to his Don Quixote (and possibly equally fictional), Zucchelli brings his flock from sylvan meadows to the suburban home he shares with wife, Lucia, and their four kids, en route to a lovely finale. Trimming inadvertent mockumentary bits would increase viewing pleasure.

The Last Shepherd

Docu - Italy

Production: A Zagora, Gagarin production, in collaboration with Lombardia Film Commission, Green Management Institute, Amsa, Atm, Radio Popolare, Ardaco. Produced by Anna Godano, Franco Bocca Gelsi, Fabrizio Cerato. Directed, written by Marco Bonfanti.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Michele D'Attanasio; editor, Valentina Andreoli; music, Danilo Caposeno; sound, Claudio Bagni; associate producer, Bonfanti; assistant director, Marco Bartolomucci. Reviewed at Turin Film Festival (A Moveable Feast), Nov. 28, 2012. (Also in Tokyo, Dubai film festivals.) Running time: 81 MIN.

With: With: Renato Zucchelli, Piero Lombardi, Lucia Zucchelli, Hedi Krissane. (Italian, Gai dialogue)

More Film

  • The Painter and the Thief

    'The Painter and the Thief': Film Review

    Incredible. That’s the word that comes to mind with Benjamin Ree’s “The Painter and the Thief,” a stranger-than-fiction friendship story in which vérité techniques produce unbelievable results. I don’t mean to imply that this astonishing documentary isn’t truthful. Rather, I’m in awe of how things played out, and fully aware that there was a certain [...]

  • 'The Cost of Silence': Exclusive First

    'The Cost of Silence': Exclusive First Look at Sundance Doc on Deepwater Horizon Spill

    “The Cost of Silence,” a new documentary about the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, doesn’t just chronicle the worst oil drilling disaster in history. It looks at the devastating impact that the use of chemicals called “dispersants” had on Gulf Coast families. It turns out the so-called cleanup was not the success story [...]

  • Cuties

    'Cuties': Film Review

    Eleven-year-old Senegalese immigrant Amy (Fathia Youssouf) reckons there are two ways to be a woman. Amy could mimic her mom (Maïmouna Gueye), a dutiful drudge with three kids and a husband who’s just announced he’s bringing home a second wife. Or she could copy the “Cuties,” a quartet of brazen girls who wear tube tops [...]

  • Crip Camp

    'Crip Camp': Film Review

    If “Crip Camp” strikes you as a politically incorrect name for a movie about a summer camp where kids on crutches, in wheelchairs, and otherwise living with disabilities found it possible to feel included rather than ostracized, consider this: The irreverent, stereotype-busting documentary was co-directed by Berkeley-based sound designer Jim LeBrecht, a spina bifida survivor [...]

  • Summertime

    'Summertime': Film Review

    “Use your words.” I remember one of my sheroes saying that to a stammering 4-year-old decades ago. Here was a woman who’d dedicated her life to preschool education, whom I assisted for several summers, trying to get through to a tongue-tied little boy. The more he sputtered, the more upset he got, unable to express [...]

  • Mickey Rourke

    Film News Roundup: Mickey Rourke's 'Adverse' Opens Fantasporto Festival

    In today’s film news roundup, a Mickey Rourke crime drama will premiere in Portugal, a film about the Purdue Pharma scandal is in the works and the documentary “After Parkland” will be shown at 100 locations on the second anniversary of the Parkland shootings. FESTIVAL OPENER The world premiere of Mickey Rourke’s crime drama “Adverse” [...]

  • Director of the Sundance Film Festival

    Outgoing Sundance Festival Director John Cooper Reflects on 30 Years of Highs and Lows

    John Cooper, the outgoing director of the Sundance Film Festival, has been on Robert Redford’s payroll for 30 years. Many in the small world of Hollywood, and the even smaller ecosystem of global film festivals, braced at the announcement last June that Cooper would step down, taking with him decades of institutional memory. Cooper spoke [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content