A profoundly bold vision, Without Shepherds has mastered the craft of documentary storytelling, taking us into the heart of Pakistan, a country scrutinized by the global community yet virtually unseen, unknown and deeply misunderstood. Although the land and people carry a long cultural history, Pakistan is just in it's infancy as a nation, if we didn't already know this, we have certainly forgotten. It's 2008 and only 60 years after Pakistan has declared independence. Benazir Bhutto has just been assassinated and Musharraf's military is in control. Pakistan is in the global spotlight as the U.S. wages its war on terror, hunts for Bin Laden and news headlines scream terrorism, extremism, sexism. Pakistan is one of the most dangerous places in the world and it's easy to paint a shallow picture.
Through 6 unique Pakistani's at the helm of the progressive movement, we journey into a land at the crossroads of religion, politics, culture and the deep complexity of tradition struggling to keep it's footing with modernity. With lyrical cinematic poetry our guides take us into uncharted territory, traveling from the Eastern border of India to the Western border of Afghanistan, large urban cities to rural villages, progressive politics to Taliban territory. No stone is left unturned always making us painfully aware of the fact and wondering how the filmmakers were able to capture such rawness. Tired of political pundits and talking heads, McClelland masterfully captivates us at the first frame. Beyond gorgeous and lushly visual, the interwoven stories remind us of the humanity and power of people willing to risk everything for their beliefs, communities and a better future, leaving us in turn to reflect on our own humanity and vision.
- Terrie Samundra, Programmer