A timeless musical journey through the evolution of man and its different forms of emotional expression. This is how I would define an experience like Good Shepherds, the documentary/concert/dramatization directed by Curt M. Faudon, who has taken a basic premise and turned it into something much more complex and relevant.
But the method used by the director is far from simple. It’s a mix between the mystical and artistic touch that Faudon uses to make his film something different than what anyone would imagine. Good Shepherds is a film better felt than seen, and if you’re into experiencing music from a sensorial perspective rather than an analytical one, you’re in for a treat.
It all starts with the Uruk vase (also known as Warka), a device dated to 3200 BC, that attempts to narrate the cycle of life through the use of its most basic components. From this basis, a film is written. But it isn’t a dramatization. It’s a musical journey narrated by Dr. Jane Goodall, and sung by the iconic Vienna Boys Choir. They are the companion to a set of images that go from the naturalistic to artistic displays and depictions.
If you believe I’m being cryptic, you’re right. Good Shepherds is a feature that exists because of a final message given by Goodall that speaks more about ourselves and not about a historical object. This transcendence isn’t easy to recognize at first, but Faudon’s imaginative film works as a tool to understand what the objective is. And yes, it is more relevant than we think.
Beautiful compositions from dozens of countries and iconic composers are the background of a film of spectacular sights and sounds. When it’s edited together with concert scenes, it gets a bit confusing but it isn’t a problem. From the beginning we understand this isn’t like anything we’ve ever seen before.
Nevertheless, it won’t be enjoyed by everyone. In times of quick content and products, a film like Good Shepherds is rare because not many people are willing to sit and open themselves to a concert experience when a few words are spoken and many things are spoken in strange languages. Yes, even if they sound great, this is a holiday documentary that not many would understand.
Is the final message worth it? The answer lies in what you get from the film. Goodall speaks about looking out for everyone and everything in a planet infested by a society more focused on themselves than their peers. Perhaps if we took our eyes off what we see in front of us and address what surrounds us, we could start following Goodall’s message. Good Shepherds will help, but it will also be a good reason to start looking into ourselves and realizing we are far more important than we believe.