A poetic study in movement and sound, this film takes you on a journey to the twilight expanses of the Lappish wilderness to experience the ancient practice of reindeer herding or ‘husbandry’.
Each autunm, as the daylight retreats, the Arctic’s indigenous Sámi people bring down thousands of reindeer from the surrounding mountainsides, where they spend the summer grazing. Once gathered, the animals are identified by various markers and distributed to their owners, who depend on them for food and to help with their work.
The film explores the eerie isolation of the Artic landscape and capture the sheer adrenaline rush of the herding.
Part city symphony part visual poem, ‘The Solitary Life of Cranes’ explores the invisible life of a city, its patterns and hidden secrets, seen through the eyes of crane drivers working high above its streets. What emerges is a lyrical meditation about how our existence is shaped through the environment we inhabit, both for the drivers high up in the sky and the people on the ground they are watching.
Made with the support of the Channel 4 British Documentary Film Foundation, 'The Solitary Life of Cranes' was premiered at Britdoc Festival, where it won the award for Best Documentary Short. Since then, the film has screened at numerous other festivals worldwide, including Sheffield Doc/Fest, Silverdocs, Thessaloniki and Telluride, winning a number of other awards. It was also chosen as one of the top five films of the year 2008 by critic Nick Bradshaw in Sight & Sound magazine's annual film review; and was nominated for the International Documentary Association's Distinguished Short Award.
“graceful and revealing…once seen, won’t be forgotten” The Observer
“Very simply, the film did what art should do: it opened your eyes.” The Guardian