A sturdy stomach and lots of patience is required for Jessica Oreck’s unflinching slow-burn documentary about a year in the life of two Lapland reindeer-herders, brothers Aarne and Lasse Aatsinki. Lovers of Rudolph, beware: disembowelment is involved. So is a vérite approach to telling the cowboys’ story, meaning Oreck simply observes without providing context or conducting interviews.
Adjust to its rhythms and there’s a poetry to her portrait of working life in wild landscapes, but only intermittently an engaging or enlightening one: after you’ve seen the 20th shot of men whittling wood, those 12 months start to drag a bit.
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