This film explores the remarkable and enduring relationship between a group of nomadic herders and the animal that in other parts of the world would be their sworn enemy: the wolf.
Against the backdrop of a unique Indian landscape, where other wild animals such as leopards, the Indian Striped hyena, Blackbuck and the Great Indian bustard, cling to a fragile existence, we reveal why both the shepherds and the wolves have defied the pressures of the encroaching modern world.
As they travel the ancient pathways and rugged hills together, a wonderful tale unfolds of danger, survival and resilience and an extraordinary pact between man and beast is revealed. The area is peppered with rarely visited archaeological sites which offer a fascinating view on humankind’s struggle with nature in the ever-changing landscape of India.
With hundreds of sheep in tow, the traditional shepherds and nomads wander across the state of Karnataka and Maharashtra in south-central India, always looking for greener pastures. They follow the monsoon rains, searching out new grazing for their animals. Their nomadic way of life goes back many generations, but for one tribal leader, Ramappa, learning where to take the flock and how to look after it is a very different challenge from the one faced by his ancestors.
Ramappa knows that his family’s livestock are being constantly followed by wolves. Yet he and his family show amazing tolerance to the wolf pack. Even when the pack kills some of their precious animals, threatening their livelihood, they do not take revenge. And so they walk on together, for hundreds and hundreds of kilometres, across the vast plains – shepherds and wolves living side by side. It is a unique chance to see how the plains have changed, both in terms of their ancient human cultures and their wildlife, and to get very rare glimpses of other survivors of this spectacular landscape such as leopards and Blackbucks.
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