Private Project

The Sacred Goats

The 4000 Kalasha are a Non-Muslim minority living in the Hindukush Mountains in NW-Pakistan.
It is the last remains of the shamanistic goat cultures that dominated in the big Central-Asian mountain area “Peristan” till the advent of Islam.
Among the Kalasha, still goats are a most important part of the religion, the social life and the material subsistence.
During long stays every year for 25 years the filmmaker Birgitte Glavind Sperber has lived among the Kalash, for the last years shooting with a little camcorder.
Being an “impure” woman it is impossible for her to attend the religious ceremonies at the sacred places.
The young Kalasha Yasir has got her camera. He has a fine eye and has made unique shots from the high pastures, winter festival and sacrifices.
The elders who know the best have co-operated too in presenting their culture to the outside world.
Yasir’s and Birgitte’s footage are combined in this film.
The goat culture is threatened from many reasons – modern education, money economy, environmentalists and Islamic fundamentalists.
This film shot during 9 years is a unique documentation of an endangered culture

  • Birgitte Glavind Sperber
  • Yasir Khan Kalash
  • Birgitte Glavind Sperber
  • Birgitte Glavind Sperber
  • Qazi Pali Azam
    Key Cast
  • Qazi Khosh Nawaz
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    45 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    November 29, 2008
  • Production Budget:
    1,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Pärnu International FIlmfestival
    July 12, 2008
    World premiere
  • Etnia Filmfestival
    October 11, 2008
  • Festival Jean Rouch 2009
    March 21, 2009
  • London International Documentary Filmfestival 2009
    United Kingdom
    April 1, 2009
  • Days of Ethnographic Cinema. Moscow September 25 - October 2, 2010
    Russian Federation
    September 30, 2010
Distribution Information
  • Birgitte Glavind Sperber
    Country: Denmark
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Birgitte Glavind Sperber, Yasir Khan Kalash

Birgitte Glavind Sperber: Born 1942, M.Sc. in Biology and Geography from University of Copenhagen. Retired senior lecturer in Geography and Biology from University College South in Denmark.
Every year 1983-2008 and in 2018, 2019 and 2022 long stays, in total over 2½ years, among the Kalasha, a non-Muslim minority living in the Hindukush Mountains in NW Pakistan .
Education in social anthropology from Aarhus Open University. Author of books and ethnographic papers on the Kalasha.
Since 2000 shooting with a camcorder.
First film made at Danish Film Institute’s Video-workshop in Haderslev in 2001.
Since then working alone at my computer at home.
12 of my Kalasha documentaries have been selected for screening at 24 international film festivals. Two have been awarded ("The Last Honours" and "Kalasha Medicine").

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Director Statement

Half of the scenes were shot by the young Kalasha Yasir Khan who was also the translator.
So the film has been made in both our names.