ME, RS, CA

In development

The Last Nomads

Poslednji nomadi

Each summer, Vanja and his fellow shepherds lead their sheep deep into the glorious, untamed countryside of Montenegro. A 3-day journey takes them beyond the boundaries of daily civilization and into the vast, rolling wilderness of fairytale like landscapes. Finally, they reach the 2000m high pastures of Sinjajevina Mountain and summer huts they inherited from their ancestors.
But, this year’s journey is different. They witness deforestation and dry riverbeds as private hydroelectric plants and wind farms begin to appear in the landscape. Rumors spread that this patch of grazing land in the north of Montenegro will become a NATO military polygon, a gov’t-sanctioned ground for war exercises. Vanja and his community learn that the pastures might be spoiled, their huts forcibly removed and their tradition erased forever.
Soon, they organized a series of protests on the Mountain and in town. Gathering the strength to fight back against this gov't decision, the case initially seems hopeless. They earn support from activists, but many fear the consequences of opposing the ruling party’s decision. Vanja’s neighbor Gara and her adopted daughter Nada stand up and lead a guileless protest of shepherds into the capital city. Totally alienated they wander around the city and pass a dress in a shop window worth more than their best calf. Their community is changing faster than they can compete with.
But, their luck changes when a group of scientists arrive at the summer settlement. They study nomadic agriculture, and want to help protect the environment and traditions. With the help of the scientists, shepherds hatch a plan to register their pasturland as Indigenous Cultures Conserved Areas. Soon, their case is the subject of hearings in the EU Parliament, European Commission and UNESCO. In the background, the gov’t of Montenegro organizes the international military camp and first exercises on Sinjajevina, and the case becomes more urgent by the hour.
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