Holy Cow! Watch Nettie Wild’s New Digi-Doc ‘Roundup’

By Pat Mullen

Take a quick ride through cattle country and director Nettie Wild (KONELĪNE: Our Land Beautiful). Her short digi-doc Roundup, which the NFB just released on social media, observes a unique family gathering in British Columbia’s Peace region. In just three minutes, Wild’s film captures a 20-family cattle corral as the cows navigate the circular herding structure used to calm the animals. The view of the Sunset Prairie corral provides an evocative essay on animal rights, told with nary a word.

Captured from high above in cinematography by Patrick McLaughlin, Roundup offers a unique sight for 2020: a large crowd in a relatively peaceful gathering. It’s a soothing sight for these times of social distancing! If the Roundup leaves a viewer hungry for more, why not pair it with the NFB classic Corral? A worthy double-bill from two of Canada’s finest talents. (Three, if we include the cows.)

Synopsis: Watch 4,000 cattle return from summer grazing to 20 families who share a communal pasture and corral. Mesmerizing visual patterns from sky and ground frame an evocative contemplation of the relationship between human and animals, landscape and architecture.