8.1/10
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1 user 2 critic

Off the Beaten Track (2010)

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One year in the life of Albin and his family of shepherds in the North of Transylvania, their day to day routines, and their attempts to adapt to a new world where traditions are gradually replaced by modern values.

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One year in the life of Albin and his family of shepherds in the North of Transylvania. In direct cinema style, this documentary follows their day to day routines, and their struggle to adapt to a new world where traditions are gradually replaced by modern values. Since joining the EU, Romania has been facing, like several other Eastern European countries, the pressure of modern values, introducing in farmer's lives the cruel notion of competition, the temptation of migrating to the higher salaries abroad, and the marginalization of locally produced food against industrial products. Written by EastWest Filmdistribution

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25 January 2012 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Off the beaten Track - Abseits aller Pfade  »

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1.78 : 1
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No story, no plot, and yet maintaining 93 minutes attention span
3 February 2011 | by (Amersfoort, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

This is about people who kept sheep as long as they can remember. They are reluctant to change to some other line of work. Alas, they discover having postponed too long. They either can find work in Germany (like several people they know), or they can try to struggle along (no other prospect than going downhill or even bankruptcy), or they have to depend on subsidy from the government. The latter option is only mentioned briefly in the beginning, and not explored to our luck, because it would not have made such an interesting film as this one.

The larger part of the film shows these people in action with their animals. One can see that they get their way with animals, in other words none are professional actors with a crash source in sheep handling. I'm confident in being the judge of that, having grown up on a farm. Can that be the reason that I found the whole film compelling and entertaining?? I think so, because not that much happens in terms of drama. We follow the proceedings inside and outside the stables, and through beautiful and not so beautiful landscapes. All of that is real world stuff, without any decors or stage props.

Near the end of the film their tragic situation is showing. It is becoming more and more difficult to sell their cattle for acceptable prices. Many of their colleagues are selling out what they have. The conclusion is left open, but you can imagine that the situation will become worse year by year.


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