On the plateau of Mont Lozère, herds of sheep are accompanied by a mysterious figure through dark, unforgiving storms. A documentary poem of torments—that of the mountains and of winter, and of bodies and souls.
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Where ethnography and ritual collide springs a language which adzes the divisor wall between form and essence. The negated dignity in birth regained in mass grave, in a communal destination. A (broader) animality condemned in the same fashion of its election: the unintelligible carried out in a sacrifice consequent to a constitutional affinity. The flock roams in the torment and the torment is its internal guide.
It has the rare power of making even the most breath-taking images look fake and stagey. This is pretentious, lifeless, 'French' movie making. The use of people in this 'documentary,' especially the long close-ups, is atrocious. Monotony is not a flaw per se, but this documentary simply doesn't work. It feels fake. I couldn't help but think of Bela Tarr's masterpiece, The Turin Horse.
For the Lost is the second in a triplet of documentaries centering on the lives of those in dissension, exile, and deprivation. For the Lost does a magnificent job of comparing and overlapping the practices of sheepherders of Lozère, France, to the patients of a psychiatric hospital in the same region. Filmmaker Vanderweed leaves his meanings up to interpretation, and I believe it is worth watching to find your own.