Socialist Worker

The Shepherd—a cruel tale of greed, developers, land and sheep

Issue No. 2556

Anselmo tends his flock

Anselmo tends his flock


Nothing much goes on in Anselmo’s world, which he shares with his beloved dog Pillo. Like any other farmer the land and the weather are the important things in his life.

Some of the locals in the nearby village think he lives in the “stone age”. He has no TV, enjoys a simple life tending his flock of sheep and has a love of books.

The scenic shots in the film are stunning and convey the dry, dusty, arid wide open space.

Property sharks want to buy up land on the cheap, for their own benefit, and turn Anselmo’s farm and his neighbours’ land on both sides into a crisp new housing estate for the well off.

A huge squash court would sit where his tiny house now does.

But the talk of new shops, bars and other “commercial opportunities” doesn’t interest Anselmo so the developers assume, “He must be a little slow or something.

“These villagers, they are stubborn as a mule, but they love money like everyone else.”

The sharks are selling “beauty and tranquillity for all the family” but this shepherd doesn’t care for their idea of it.

“Everyone wants things to fill up their lives with,” he tells his librarian friend Concha.

Director Jonathan Cenzual Burley wants to make this “critique on greed heard, especially at the moment, where greed seems to be the driving force behind everything”.

Unfortunately his focus is individuals, not corporations or the system. Neighbours Paco and Julian both want to sell up to the developers but Anselmo’s land is in the middle and crucial to their plan.

The Shepherd won’t make you laugh much, but sometimes smile.

It exposes the cruel way the system can warp human relationships through a desire for wealth or the fear of debt—and some of the shocking consequences that can lead from that.

The Shepherd (El Pastor)
Directed by Jonathan Cenzual Burley. Matchbox Films.
In cinemas 2 June

Liar Liar Ge2017

Captain ska have remastered their 2010 anti-Tory song Liar Liar.

Band leader and songwriter Jake said, “We want to do all we can to expose the horrific effects Tory policy has had on ordinary people.

“Theresa May lies her way through interview after interview without addressing the real issues.

“We’re sick of her and her party of millionaires privatising and cutting our public services while it’s poverty and deteriorating living standards for the rest of us.

“The money is there to improve the lives of the majority but it’s in the hands of the wrong people.

“We want to do all we can to make sure Theresa May is kicked out of Downing Street on 8 June.

“I’m confident we’ll get into the UK Top 40, which would mean the BBC will have to play it on their chart show next Sunday.”

Protest outside Broadcasting House in London this Friday to let radio stations play Liar Liar. Go here for derails

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