The Shepherd film preview – One man’s refusal to bend

The Shepherd film preview – A story of one man’s refusal to bend – words Amy Warner

The Shepherd is a beautifully shot and compelling drama by independent filmmaker Jonathan Cenzual Burley that places an unlikely hero centre stage. The Shepherd is the story of one man’s determined struggle to keep his sense of self and dignity in the face of overwhelming odds. It is set in the brutal but compelling world of central Spain where a shepherd fights to keep his place in the world.

It captures the landscape quite brilliantly and that sets the stage for a tale of human resilience. This is despite being hit by many body blows by the inequalities of a system designed to favour the powerful. The individual in this game is but a pawn to be used by other people. Not this time though. Sometimes we have to make a stand.

(EL PASTOR) OFFICIAL TRAILER from jonathan cenzual on Vimeo.

The film gathered lots of attention at the Raindance festival where it was proclaimed a triumph. It is shot with an almost epic, lavish feel despite its low budget production. The central character is Anselmo (accompanied by his dog Pillo) who lives in a rickety shack just outside the village. The scenery takes a starring role but we get the sense that Anselmo has found his own little piece of sanity and happiness with his small plot of land, his dog and his flock.

Trouble is on the horizon though in the guise of a local businessman who wants to buy his land for development. Anselmo refuses and then the real trouble starts. Money you see is of little interest to him. What is he going to buy? He already feels happy and content with what he has. The businessman and his cohorts do not understand through and using increasingly strong arm methods they pile the pressure on the old man. It could well be one of the best indie films you’ll see this year.

Director Jonathan Cenzual Burley said: “Every filmmaker wants to see their film in a cinema, it’s the pinnacle of what we work for. But in the case of The Shepherd I’m extremely happy about its release because of the film’s subject matter. I want to reach as many people as possible, to make this critique on greed heard, especially at the moment, where greed seems to be the driving force behind everything. I believe it’s important to stop for a second and to really think about what moral barriers we are willing to cross and to what extent we will allow people to abuse others just because they think they can.”

The Shepherd movie from independent filmmaker Jonathan Cenzual Burley stars Miguel Martín (as Anselmo), Maribel Iglesias and Alfonso Mendiguchía, The film will be released by Matchbox Films and is due out in theatres  2nd June. See The Shepherd imdb here

The Shepherd film preview – A story of one man’s refusal to bend – words Amy Warner

The Shepherd film  Shepherd-Web-1 The Shepherd filmShepherd-Web-4The Shepherd movie review images courtesy of Matchbow