Shepherds and Butchers

Year of Production:
Country of Origin:
South Africa
Running Time:
107 mins
Oliver Schmitz
Steve Coogan, Andrea Riseborough
Anant Singh, Brian Cox

Production Designer: Mike Berg

Costume Designer: Diana Cilliers

South Africa, 1987. When Leon, a white 19-year-old prison guard commits an inexplicable act of violence, killing seven black men in a hail of bullets, the outcome of the trial - and the court’s sentence - seems a foregone conclusion.

Hotshot lawyer John Weber reluctantly takes on the seemingly unwinnable case.

A passionate opponent of the death penalty, John discovers that young Leon worked on death row in the nation’s most notorious prison, under traumatic conditions: befriending the inmates over the years while having to assist their eventual execution.

As the court hearings progress, the case offers John the opportunity to put the entire system of legally sanctioned murder on trial. How can one man take such a dual role of friend and executioner, becoming both shepherd and butcher?

Inspired by true events, this is the story that puts death penalty on trial and changes history.

Berlinale is set to premiere the films you'll still be talking about this time next year

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Producer Anant Singh revealed Tuesday that Barry Gibb, co-founder of the Bee Gees, has composed the song “Angels” for Oliver Schmitz’s “Shepherds and Butchers,” which will have its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival on Feb. 13.


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Variety has been given the exclusive first image from “Shepherds and Butchers,” which stars Steve Coogan. WestEnd Films is handling international sales and will be showing a first promo of the film to buyers at the Toronto Film Festival.


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EXCLUSIVE: Andrea Riseborough joins Shepherds and Butchers ahead of June shoot.

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Steve Coogan To Star In Oliver Schmitz’s ‘Shepherds And Butchers’

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International TrailerPlay
'Angels' featurette Barry GibbPlay