Cinema Clips: Rams

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Two Icelandic sheepherding brothers who haven’t spoken in four decades face tragedy when their neighboring herds become infected and must be slaughtered.

Gummi (Sigurður Sigurjonsson) and Kiddi (Theódór Júlíusson) have developed a rivalry over the years, with Kiddi winning local “best sheep” competitions. A jealous Gummi reports that his brother’s sheep might be ill, and the report rings true. Veterinarians recommend that all of the sheep in their valley be destroyed, wreaking havoc on their lives. Gummi comes up with a strange plan to salvage some of the herd, forcing Kiddi to join him on a mission to save the sheep.

Writer-director Grimur Hakonarson’s hauntingly beautiful movie is a fine testament to sibling rivalry. We never really find out what has caused the brotherly rift, and we don’t really need to know. The two actors (forgive me…I just don’t want to retype those names) are excellent as the brothers, two men who love sheep so much they put them before family.

Rams is an exquisitely made film, and was somehow snubbed for a Best Foreign Film Academy Award nomination. Voters truly missed the boat on this one. 

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