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sleep furiously. (2011)



Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 26
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 8

This poetic and tender portrait of a Welsh village is a slow moving yet elegantly accomplished British documentary.


Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 1

This poetic and tender portrait of a Welsh village is a slow moving yet elegantly accomplished British documentary.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 432

My Rating

Movie Info

Sleep Furiously is set in a small farming community in mid Wales, about 50 miles north of Dylan Thomas' fictional village of Llareggub - and there is a sense in which this is a film 'for' Dylan Thomas, if not a contemporary translation of 'Under Milk Wood'. This is a place where Koppel's parents - both refugees - found a home. It is a landscape and population that is changing rapidly as small scale agriculture is disappearing and the generation who inhabited a pre-mechanised world is dying out.


Documentary, Special Interest

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All Critics (27) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (8) | DVD (1)

"Sleep Furiously" is a lovely film, but maddeningly complacent.

August 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ultimately, the first impression given - of a place both familiar and strange - is the only impression offered. It's not enough.

July 29, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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Gideon Koppel's free-form portrait of a Welsh farming community may be the most subtly poetic piece of cine-anthropology to come down the pike in eons.

July 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A lingering, mildly lyrical look at village life.

July 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This film is best taken as a visual ode to an all-but-forgotten way of life.

October 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is as fully formed and unique a debut movie as you could ever hope to see.

May 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic


November 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Sleep Furiously returns again and again to this idea of transition: seasons change, cows go out to pasture and come in for milking, piglets are born, lambs follow their mothers as dogs herd them. Farming traditions are dynamic.

September 8, 2011 Full Review Source: PopMatters

A paean to a way of life that, regardless of Dylan Thomas' furious injunction, is going gently into that good night.

July 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Beautifully shot but more than a little sterile.

July 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

A certain polite withholding, even if it masks some firm conviction or desire, seems to be a coin of the realm in Trefeurig, so it may well be apt that Koppel often films in a register very close to this one.

July 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

If you love Dylan Thomas (who doesn't?), then you will love this film.

July 28, 2011 Full Review Source:

A paean to the dignity of ritualized traditions that aims for poetic calmness, but more often smoothes its subjects into deliberately emblematic somnambulism.

July 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Great claims have been made for it, which I cannot endorse, Koppel's stated intentions being infinitely more arresting than the completed film.

June 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Sleep Furiously may be the most beautifully elemental documentary film to have emerged in Britain in over a decade and I can't applaud it loudly enough.

May 29, 2009 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Even though it's sometimes picturesque and involving, it's also so achingly slow and indulgent that it will test even the most patient viewers.

May 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

Images of wistful sadness - lone figures with plodding dogs on rain-lashed hillsides - are interlaced with humour and moments of skin-prickling beauty that leave the audience undone.

May 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

The film has richness and an unshowy compassion, its grammar and pace adjusting to the tempo of the countryside.

May 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

Sleep furiously is a film whose lower-case title is in perfect keeping with the understated but tremulous mood it manages, with rare skill, to create and to maintain.

May 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

A poetic, profound and contemplative journey into a world of endings and beginnings.

May 29, 2009
Little White Lies

Audience Reviews for sleep furiously.

Lyrical , poetic, impressionistic picture of rural Welsh life which oozes warm emotion from every frame. Ode to a way of life that is disappearing day by day. That feeling of sad nostalgia never overwhelms the director, though and he has crafted a thing of beauty.
December 21, 2009
Gordon A

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Sleep Furiously (DE)
  • Sleep Furiously (UK)
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