The story, narrated by the great actor Christopher Plummer, tells how a good and simple man with an ear for the language of the earth, makes a forest grow in what was a god-forsaken, waterless waste. Not far from a deserted hamlet, ruined by drought and buffeted by the winds, a shepherd lives alone with his sheep. He is a taciturn man who matches the rhythm of his life to that of nature. Some fifty years of age, he underwent much suffering in his life, and chose to devote the rest of it to this patient and anonymous achievement. Putting to work his deep knowledge of nature, he wants to create a forest where everyone else saw only a hopeless desert, sowing seeds and acorns, one by one, with the greatest care. Then, as if by magic, a landscape that seemed condemned grows green again, and life and youth gradually come into their own again-without realizing that this “miracle” is the work of one man’s hands. The story, like the film, is a tribute to patience and hard work, and to the generous heart of his shepherd who is deterred neither by wars nor setbacks, a man who puts himself in second place, behind his life’s work.
Directed by Frédéric Back.