Addicted to Sheep: A Must-See for the Ovine Obsessed
Living on the land and earning a livelihood through farming is rewarding yet incredibly demanding. So why do people still choose to farm? Filmmaker Magali Pettier explores this question in her documentary Addicted to Sheep. The film profiles a family working as tenant farmers in Upper Teesdale, in the High Pennines of northern England.
Pettier, having an agriculture background herself, filmed the Hutchinson family and their Swaledale sheep over an eighteen-month period. She says, “The farm in the film lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty, but it also has significant levels of social and economic disadvantage. . . . There is a growing decline of young people who opt for a career in agriculture.” The documentary shares the highs and lows of hill-farming through the seasons, taking in everything from shearing to lambing as the family of five strives to create the most productive flock possible.
Mark Kermode, film critic of the Observer (London), says in his review, “Told with affection but without sentimentality (life and death are unflinchingly intertwined), Magali Pettier’s debut feature gets under the skin of its subjects and the tough lives they lead.”
Originally released in June 2015, Addicted to Sheep is being shown in cinemas across the United Kingdom. From Shetland to Devon, this independent film has been gaining fans and receiving glowing reviews. Visit www.addictedtosheep.com to watch a sneak preview of the film and order a copy of the video.
Addicted to Sheep. Directed by Magali Pettier. Provenance Films, 2015. Film.