bjeshkë – a film by Grégoire Verbeke
Springtime in northern Albania sparks the herding of goats from the lowlands, up to the towering mountainsides. Prek Gjoni is moving his livestock with the help of Jovalin. In may 2017 we started our four day journey. The film try to emphasise the rhythmicity of walking. With inherent rhythmicity it is a temporal mode of interaction with space and time.
In March 2018 I went back to screen the film to the shepherd. Surprisingly he stayed in the mountains with his goats while his wife live in the lowlands. The goats didn’t walk back to the lowlands, because his sons built a stall. So the goats hibernate in the mountains.
Over the past year his two sons made money by carrying with their horses luggage of hikers over the mountains. Building a stall made their live more comfortable. Now they don’t need to move the goats every spring and autumn. In the winter they buy extra hay to feed them. The vertical transhumance we did together was the last one. I didn’t know that at the time of walking but the film shows the last seasonal migration of this shepherd family.