Milky Way
Dumitru Budrala • Romania • 2023 • 120 min • Work in progress
* work-in-progress version In a century governed by speed and technology, transhumance seems straight out of ancient legends. Here is a documentary willing to reveal the secrets and challenges of this way of life.
The cyclical herding of sheep from the highlands to the mountains in spring and back again before winter may seem anachronistic today, but for those who have been living like this for generations, it is the most natural way of life. Despite the hardships, or perhaps precisely because of the challenges of the “Milky Way”, shepherds set off for the mountains and live at the sheepfolds for half the year. They never get bored: shepherding is a hard job and only the most skilled of them can grasp its mysteries and truly enjoy it.

We follow a family of shepherds where everyone, from the youngest to the oldest, participates according to their own strength and ability: they gather hay, they milk and shear the sheep, they make cheese, they clean and keep watch: everyone plays a part. The head of the family is a lifelong shepherd, a tough, no-nonsense man who has had his share of run-ins with bears and wolves, but who also knows how to speak gently and tenderly to the youngest lambs in the flock. He's lucky: one of his sons has inherited his passion for shepherding and will carry on this tradition. For how many generations, however, nobody knows: the times are changing and transhumance is less and less attractive to young people who prefer a more modern lifestyle. Here is an honest documentary, exceptional in its transparency, an open door to a world that we all carry within, many of us without even knowing it. Here is an exploration of the Romanian and universal soul, a film to be seen and never to be forgotten.
Original Title:Calea laptelui
Director:Dumitru Budrala
Producer: Dumitru Budrala
Cinematographer: Dumitru Budrala
Editors: Emilian Floareș, Cristian Florin Ionescu
Production Company: Astra Film