An unsentimental elegy to the American West, Sweetgrass follows the last modern‐day cowboys to lead their flocks of sheep up into Montana’s Absaroka‐Beartooth mountains for summer pasture. This astonishingly beautiful yet unsparing film reveals a world in which nature and culture, animals and humans, vulnerability and violence are all intimately meshed.

Region of Origin


Year of Release



101 minutes


35 mm, Color


Ilisa Barbash Thumbnail

Ilisa Barbash

Lisa (Ilisa) Barbash is Curator of Visual Anthropology at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, where she makes films, writes, and curates exhibitions about photography. Lisa has taught ethnographic film production and the history and theory of ethnographic film at San Francisco State University, Berkeley, and at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Lucien Castaing-Taylor Thumbnail

Lucien Castaing-Taylor

Castaing-Taylor received his B.A. at Cambridge University and his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. Since 2002 Castaing-Taylor has taught at Harvard University, where he is Director of the Sensory Ethnography Lab. He is the founding editor of the American Anthropological Association’s journal Visual Anthropology Review (1991–94).