Slamdance Film Review: The Last Shepherd

Posted January 21, 2013 in
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The Last Shepherd

Slamdance Film Festival

Director: Marco Bonfanti

Renatol Zuchelli is a very large Italian man wearing a dirty tank top, sporting a scruffy beard, and plodding his way through some remote, green hills in Italy.  Your first impression “The Last Shepherd” isn’t much at all. But by the end of this great documentary, you’re view of Zuchelli makes a complete 180-degree turn. But aside from the great story itself, director Marco Bonfanti’s ability to also capture the beauty of rural Italy, along with a great soundtrack, makes this film a fascinating tale of the last sheep herder in Milan. The premise of the film is Zuchelli’s desire to herd his flock of sheep to the center of Milan to show schoolchildren, who have no idea what a shepherd actually is.  It’s amazing to see how Zuchelli is able to balance the ancient shepherd lifestyle with the 21st century that he can no longer avoid. At times, it’s humorous to watch as he herds his large flock of sheep through traffic and streets on his trek to Milan. There are some great, intimate interviews with Zuchelli, as well as his wife. But one of the great characters in this film is Zuchelli’s partner in crime, Piero, who often calls out for his dog Bubu, who Zuchelli insists doesn’t exist. This film leaves both a sincere and humorous effect on you, and the director, Bonfanti, does a nice job showing the potential a great documentary can achieve.