Director: Grímur Hákonarson

Rating: A+

Rams tells the story about how sheep are pure and good, and incurable disease is evil and sucks.

Set in Iceland on a remote rural farming valley, we’re introduced to Gummi, who lives and breathes the sustainable lifestyle, breeding sheep for the entirety of his life. His brother, who he has not spoken to for 40 years, lives right beside him and the two are in a bitter conflict – the origin of why is never revealed. The thing that eventually brings them together though, is their sheep.

The farmlands and sheep are tragically infected with scrapie, a disease that affects the nervous system of the animal and cannot be cured. Because of this, all of the sheep have to be killed and anything they have been near needs to be sterilised. The rest of the film is an emotional rollercoaster and getting into anymore more detail will spoil it.

Rams is so emotionally driven; I didn’t cry but my heart felt heavy for the entire time. The stunning landscape and gorgeous wide shots of the valley, particularly in the winter, were enough to make me feel a weird sense of awe. The acting is phenomenal and you will absolutely be onside with Gummi and all his decision making because he just loves his sheep and that’s all that matters. The closing scene in the film is also one of the best I have seen in a very long time and will stick with me forever.

This film received a 10 minute standing ovation at the Cannes film festival, and when I left it my soul felt replenished and something left me feeling fulfilled. In a movie season awash with remakes and sub par superhero movies, Rams is a refreshing change from the ‘same old same old’ being churned out by Hollywood.

This article first appeared in Issue 20, 2016.
Posted 12:25pm Sunday 21st August 2016 by Lisa Blakie.