Sleep Furiously (U)

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The Independent Culture

While accepting that a documentary about a tiny farming community indeepest North Wales might not set the pulse racing, the elegiac tenderness and pictorial beauty of Gideon Koppel's film becomes, by degrees, quite compelling.

It does for Wales what Raymond Depardon's recent Modern Life did for rural France, though Koppel's approach is even more austere. Rather than interview the villagers, he simply watches them on their diurnal round, be it in the fields, milking cows and herding sheep, singing in church, or just selecting a book from the mobile library. If you ever wondered how they bale hay in those black PVC sausage skins, or how you get a pet owl stuffed, this film will show you, and more besides. No commentary intrudes, and yet an ominous mood arises once we learn that the community's school is about to be closed. We are watching a way of life slowly, in fact tragically, fade to an end. A film forged from a real love of place and a deep well of sadness.

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