The Shepherd directed by László Illés is a historical drama taking place in Hungarian territory occupied by the Nazi’s in 1944. The film which is poised to debut at film festivals across the globe is meant to be a tribute to everyday unsung heroes and their selfless sacrifices for mankind.
“I have always been truly fascinated by World War II and I have read a lot of books about it. It is the closest and most epic struggle in history, where the whole world united for a greater cause. This was a situation in which millions of people were in a vulnerable position, many because they had to leave their homes to fight on the front lines. Many were at risk simply because they were born into historically marginalized and disenfranchised groups that led them to hide in their homes to await their fate,” said director László Illés.
The opening scene is set amongst pastoral fields. Here, we are introduced to the shepherd who after getting his sheep to the pasture hears the all too familiar sounds of the horrors of war from the forest. There he sees the atrocities of war, including dead bodies and a young woman who has been violated and shot in abdomen. The shepherd bandages the injured women and takes her with him to save her life. The shepherd decided to save as many lives as possible after his daughter was killed by German soldier’s years earlier.
“The Shepherd is a very dark movie, as dark and stunning as WWII. However, I want everybody to understand that no matter how dark it is, you can always find the light,” said Illés. “We have seen a lot of physical horrors in war movies, but this film is different. I wanted to show the psychological trials that people went through in a way that is as raw and authentic as possible. The camera is moving constantly with our protagonists to show their feelings and reactions to events in a more dramatic way. The audience will breathe and feel with the main characters. They will experience what it feels like to run for your life, while Nazis are behind you, and your fellow comrades are dying next to you. They will also get a grasp of what it is like to see your loved-one being violated by soldiers, or you and your family are being executed,” said Illés.