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In a secluded valley in Iceland, Gummi and Kiddi live side by side, tending to their sheep. Their ancestral sheep-stock is considered one of the country's best and the two brothers are repeatedly awarded for their prized rams who carry an ancient lineage. Although they share the land and a way of life, Gummi and Kiddi have not spoken to each other in four decades. When a lethal disease suddenly infects Kiddi's sheep, the entire valley comes under threat. The authorities decide to cull all the animals in the area to contain the outbreak. This is a near death sentence for the farmers, whose sheep are their main source of income, and many abandon their land. But Gummi and Kiddi don't give up so easily - and each brother tries to stave off the disaster in his own fashion: Kiddi by using his rifle and Gummi by using his wits. As the authorities close in the brothers will need to come together to save the special breed passed down for generations, and themselves, from extinction. Written by
Rams rests on a rather uncomplicated plot involving two brothers whose relationship can best be described as antipathetic, yet is beautifully revived over their shared endearment of their sheep. Whilst the storyline is unimaginative, the distinctive appeal of this Icelandic film-making gem, lies in what I'd term 'the hidden plot'. Rams is not about the characters, it's about their relationship with themselves, their environment and each other. It is not about the script, it is about the sentiment and meaning which embeds the words. And it is not about the desolate and barren Icelandic landscape, harsh, grim and evocative, but instead about how that setting interacts with the people, the sheep and their lives. Rams is a film of acute symbolism. The sheep are the only sings of aspiration and hope, economically and somewhat socially- speaking, in this paradoxically alluring and heart-renting part of the remote Icelandic North West. The talented cast deserves a mention. Behind your Johnny Depp's, Brad Pitt's and Vin Diesel's, lies a class of unknown, yet more authentic actors and actresses. I get the feeling I am watching a documentary on their lives on the Discovery Channel. Refreshingly alluring, Rams is a film which will make you think and question.
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