Hot Docs 2021: Our Review of ‘Gaucho Americano’

Hot Docs 2021: Our Review of ‘Gaucho Americano’

Gaucho Americano is a beautifully shot look into the hardships and struggles of the American wild west, dealing with the ever-changing conditions in the Western state of Idaho.

Joaquín Agüil, 54, and Victor Jara, 28, live in the vast and rugged landscape of Idaho. They’re both Patagonian gauchos working as sheep farmers  on a ranch in the American West. They made a good reputation with their ranching abilities and their endurance under extreme weather conditions. They both leave their families behind to pursue their dreams of earning a lot of money. Hopefully, one day, they can purchase land of their own back in their home country of Chile.

First off, it goes without saying visually the film is absolutely stunning. There’s the vast rocky mountains and wide shots of fields full of yellow plants and weeds. It also has a constant backdrop of thick green forests and surrounding hills. The sunsets are also just as pretty with the red sun fading into the deep night sky.

The film also showcases just how unpredictable and harsh nature can be for Joaquin, Victor, and their flock of sheep. Coyotes and mountain lions will constantly attack their sheep at a moment’s notice. This leaves it mostly up to guard dogs to keep them safe. They tend to have a lot of issues with keeping up with the number of sheep and how many may are missing. Joaquin also finds it very hard emotionally to be this far away from his young son who is all the way back home.

Gaucho Americano is both wonderfully shot and has a nicely contained personal story. It is a charming documentary that will let you take in the gorgeous views of various landscapes and nature that can be found in the deep wild west.

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Daniel Neil is a developing young writer from the cold city of Calgary. To escape the climate he indulges in a love for films, novels, and comic books. He has a passion for Social Studies and pop culture, and is pursuing new media production. In his spare time he participates in model UN and Av club, managing AV for school events and assemblies, and organized a film fundraiser to raise money for veterans.
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