The Living Fire: Documentary about Dying Tradition of Shepherding

A documentary film was recently released about the dying tradition of shepherding in the Carpathian Mountains. The film, called The Living Fire (Жива Ватра), was directed by my acquaintance Ostap Kostyuk.

“ЖИВА ВАТРА” (The Living Fire)
Ukraine, 2014, 77’

“A four-year-long project documenting three generations of Ukrainian Carpathian shepherds in their struggle to keep the age-old trade alive in the face of contemporary changes.”

“It is a film about pitiless daily labor that knows no weekends, a harmonious world that we’ve lost in our search for comfort, and the childhood that is left behind when one takes on the role of an adult…”

Check out the film’s website:

And the English-language Facebook group:


The Living Fire took the special jury prize in the international feature documentary category at the 2015 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, North America’s largest documentary film festival.

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