Directed by: Gideon Koppel
Countries & Regions: United Kingdom
Length: 94 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 5 October 2009
Cat No: NW007
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Gideon Koppel directs this poetically-rendered portrait of Trefeurig, the small farming community in mid-Wales where he grew up. On a... Read More
Generous in its allowance of natural rhythms, sleep furiously is a subtle, elegaic documentary portrait of a community in west Wales, etiolated through farm sales and the closure of the local school.
Director Gideon Koppel was raised in the place that he pictures. His film is that of an incomer (even if born in a place one can be a lifelong incomer), taking refuge in an aesthetic born of exquisite reticence, and noting mundane and usually overlooked textures – breeze block kennels in concrete yards, rain dropping from a clothes line – and actions, such as a shearer replacing a comb on his sheep shears, a farmer shaking out straw bedding in a winter barn, or tracing arcs and serpentine curves in winter sheep feed, patterns discernible only from a distance.
Appropriately, this is a film haunted by shades. Koppel talks of Dylan Thomas as an influence, and his film is a sort of diurnal counterpart to Thomas's intermingled and rumbustious dream lives. It seems to me that sleep furiously portrays a place that - like much of the countryside in Britain - now needs re-dreaming.