Sleep Furiously: an acclaimed documentary on a Welsh farming village

  • Published in Film

The film documents the remnants of traditional rural life in a small and ageing farming community in mid-Wales.

Like many other villages across the Celtic nations, the small farming community of Trefeurig in the Welsh county of Ceredigion is changing rapidly as small-scale agriculture is disappearing and the generation who inhabited a pre-mechanised world is dying out.

A traditional, contemplative and patient way of living is fading away as 21st century technology moves in fast with its mobile phones, computers, and mechanised farming.

Film director Gideon Koppel grew up in Trefeurig and has seen the change between the old and the new in the community.

In 'Sleep Furiously', which Koppel describes as a document of Welsh heritage, the filmmaker leads us on a contemplative journey of traditional daily activities in the farming community of Trefeurig.

Scenes of Trefeurig's rural life include, among others, the ploughing of a field, the birth of a calf, a herd of sheep slowly crossing a hill, old women watching, and a rain cloud quietly falling over a hill.

The film also features a pinch of rural Celtic eccentricity through characters like John Jones, the mobile librarian who has been driving his yellow van across the windy county roads since 1968.

Released in 2008 with its world premiere at Scotland's Edinburgh International Film Festival, 'Sleep Furiously' was filmed in eight months with a budget of £230,000 including the support of the Film Agency in Wales.

In times when most movies seem to be all about fast action and explosions, slow-paced 'Sleep Furiously' has been hailed by some critics as the best documentary to have emerged in Britain in over a decade.

[DVD] Sleep Furiously[DVD] Sleep Furiously
Sleep Furiously has been hailed by some critics as the best documentary to have emerged in Britain in over a decade.
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Celtic Countries is the online magazine for people who enjoy the Celtic nations, their natural splendour, culture, and lifestyles.

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