In a forest on the outskirts of Barcelona, lies what seems to be completely opposite worlds. On one side, an aging shepherd tends his animals, maintaining traditional farming practices while suffering from declining health. Across the way, a modern laboratory uses scientific study and animal testing to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. The beautiful countryside is in stark contrast to the clinical, nearly sci-fi look of the sterile walls of the facility. Told as a dreamy pastoral tale, we observe a direct line from past, through to present, and into the future – for the shepherd, this is the slow acceptance of time gone by, but for the scientists, it is the collective goal of saving future lives from within a pandemic. With the help of a cheerfully humorous montage, the film elegantly raises the most fundamental questions about the relationship between humans, animals, and science.
Feature Competition section is supported by Macquarie University