A formally ambitious fusion of drama and documentary, this debut feature from co-directors Christina Koutsospyrou and Aran Hughes is a darkly humorous portrait of a community of beleaguered goatherds, set against the rugged, ravishing beauty of rural Greece.

City to City

To the Wolf

Aran Hughes, Christina Koutsospyrou

A foggy village full of goat farms in the mountains of rural Greece sets the scene for a timely portrait of economic collapse in this thought-provoking first feature by directors Christina Koutsospyrou and Aran Hughes.

Told through a series of long takes, tableaux, and static shots, To the Wolf takes an intimate look at a community feeling the crushing weight of increasing poverty. Men and women of the earth, their haggard looks say it all. As they go through their daily farming activities, desperately holding on to their last vestige of livelihood, they discuss how to spend the rest of their savings, cutting corners everywhere they can. Slowly accepting their fate, they meet in local pubs to drink, watch TV, and debate over politics, all the while looking back on the lives they once had.

Shot over the course of two years, To the Wolf is a true labour of love, and it shows. Details are cherished like handcrafted trinkets. The picturesque mountains that line the landscape of each shot accentuate the beautifully bleak cinematography that perfectly mirrors the feeling of dread the characters are experiencing. The cast was chosen from real shepherds, farmers, and townspeople in an effort to attain the greatest level of authenticity in this documentary/narrative hybrid. Careful choice of shooting days gives a sense of perpetual rainfall. And, like masters of illusion, Koutsospyrou and Hughes guide each small aesthetic choice towards a conclusion with surprising — even shocking — impact.

CAMERON BAILEY

Screenings

Sat Sep 07

Scotiabank 5

Industry
4:15pm
Thu Sep 12

TIFF Bell Lightbox 3

Regular
9:30pm
Fri Sep 13

Jackman Hall

Regular
12:00pm