Meltwater flowing down the mountainside becomes a wild, churning river. Silhouettes battle desperately against the rushing water so as not to be swallowed up. Vast cloudscapes glide at speed over the Armenian highlands.
In this, his last collaboration with cameraman Mikhail Vartanov, Artavazd Pelechian captures a reclusive peasant community in its unceasing battle with the elements. In spring, they migrate into the mountains with their herds. When summer ends they harvest the hay—creating a dusty avalanche of bales. In winter, it is the shepherds themselves, hanging on to their sheep, who roll down the mountains in the snow. Accompanied by Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, these highland dwellers perform feats of pure survival.
This is humanity, trapped in a brutal but stunningly beautiful existence. To the melodic rhythms of camerawork, montage, and a lyrical score, Pelechian and Vartanov elevate it into a full-blown symphony—a symphony of being.