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23 Nov 5:00am

Shepherd review – isolation horror of sheep-herder on Scottish island

The Guardian
Scything strings, ticking clocks and a lighthouse bell tolling make for an atmospheric if OTT drama “Something’s haunting you, Mr Black. I can see it. Hope you get the chance to confront it.” With this utterance coming from Kate Dickie, playing a one-eyed ferry operator who keeps a stuffed crow on her boat, you know that confrontation is a given. She’s just shipped Eric Black (Tom Hughes) and his collie Baxter across a menacing stretch of water to the prehistoric-looking Scottish island where a husk of a cottage and a job as resident shepherd await him. “Escaping or running?” she asks, but he dodges the question. What is left unsaid is that he has just buried his pregnant wife Rachel (Gaia Weiss), something his face – a study in pasty desolation – suggests he may have had a hand in. Dickie’s goading suggests this might be framed as another self-consciously salty yarn along the lines of
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