Off the Beaten Track

Documentary / 87 min / 2011

Director: Dieter Auner

Producer: Siún Ní Raghallaigh / Dieter Auner / Cristian Mungiu

Distributor: EastWest Distribution

Logline: This observational documentary chronicles the fragile world of the Transylvanian shepherds that has been untouched for centuries and is struggling with profound change. We learn to question the price of progress.


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Synopsis: Since joining the EU, pharmacy Romanians are free to work as agricultural labourers and earn more in one month than a year in their traditional occupation, as shepherds. Against this changing landscape, Dieter Auner’s documentary introduces us to Albin Creta, a teenage Romanian shepherd from Northern Transylvania. We experience a year of his life as he works shepherding, cutting hay, making cheese and dipping sheep, and the dark nights on the Transylvanian mountain. In this sensitive documentary, the drama is observed in the minute: the selling of the lambs, the purchase of a car, the departure for Germany. Albin and his family adapt to each trial, changing to meet the new demands asked of them. One can feel the loving attention to detail to the world of the rural Romanians – who seem entirely oblivious to the documentary production documenting the small changes in their lives. Small changes, yet the harbingers of a new world.

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