Sleep Furiously | Chicago Reader

Sleep Furiously

A sociable librarian and his yellow bookmobile wind their way through this meditative, exquisitely wrought 2008 documentary, in which storytelling helps bind a remote Welsh community. Director Gideon Koppel employs a stationary camera and time-lapse photography to capture the near-isolation of Trefeurig, where farmers bale hay with modern machinery but converse in an ancient Celtic tongue. An extreme long shot shows ribbons of sheep crossing fields, while sturdy women bake tea cakes in tidy homes; birdsong and buzzing insects enrich the ambience. But the small class in the local school reflects a dwindling population, and teenagers, emerging at night, seem like an endangered species. A film that throbs with life while keenly noting its passing, this is an ode to the village that welcomed—and let thrive—the director's refugee parents. In English and subtitled Welsh.

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