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Rams (2015)

Hrútar (original title)
R | | Drama | 28 May 2015 (Iceland)
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In a remote Icelandic farming valley, two brothers who haven't spoken in 40 years have to come together in order to save what's dearest to them - their sheep.
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sigurður Sigurjónsson ... Gummi
Theodór Júlíusson Theodór Júlíusson ... Kiddi
Charlotte Bøving Charlotte Bøving ... Katrin
Jón Benónýsson Jón Benónýsson ... Runólfur
Gunnar Jónsson ... Grímur
Sveinn Ólafur Gunnarsson ... Bjarni
Þorleifur Einarsson Þorleifur Einarsson ... Sindri
Ingrid Jónsdóttir Ingrid Jónsdóttir ... Eygló
Jörundur Ragnarsson ... Villi
Viktor Már Bjarnason Viktor Már Bjarnason ... Finnur
Ólafur Ólafsson Ólafur Ólafsson ... Tóti
Jenný Lára Arnórsdóttir Jenný Lára Arnórsdóttir ... Þórey
Guðrún Sveinbjörnsdóttir Guðrún Sveinbjörnsdóttir ... Hildur
Sigurlína Tryggvadóttir Sigurlína Tryggvadóttir ... Sigurlína
Þorsteinn Gunnar Bjarnason Þorsteinn Gunnar Bjarnason ... Beggi Lögga
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Storyline

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 Netop Films

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Tragicomedy about brothers who haven't spoken in four decades

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief graphic nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Iceland | Denmark | Norway | Poland

Language:

Icelandic

Release Date:

28 May 2015 (Iceland) See more »

Also Known As:

Bland män och får See more »

Filming Locations:

Iceland See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€1,750,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,289, 7 February 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$141,922, 10 April 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Screened at the 2016 Clare Island Film Festival in County Mayo, Ireland. See more »

Crazy Credits

The sheep are credited as actors. See more »

Connections

Remade as Rams See more »

Soundtracks

Preparing for Winter
by Atli Örvarsson
2015 Lakeshore Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An immersive insight into life on an Icelandic farm told through sensitive cinematography and understated storytelling.
20 April 2016 | by CineMuseFilmsSee all my reviews

The family drama is an elastic genre label that is used when nothing else fits. It is an odd label for RAMS (2015), an endearing tale of an unconventional family consisting of two estranged brothers and their rams who live on adjacent farms in Iceland. They have not spoken for 40 years, are fiercely competitive with their prize-winning rams, and sometimes communicate via dog-carried notes or bullets through a window. They love their rams like kinfolk, pet them, kiss them and clearly are devoted shepherds. While the outside world buzzes with social and digital media innovation, life goes on for brothers Gummi and Kiddi as it has for generations amidst the harsh natural beauty of rural Iceland. Their fractious but largely peaceful co-existence is shattered when a highly contagious disease is discovered in the flock and local authorities decree that all must be destroyed.

The story itself is not the point of RAMS. Rather it is an immersive insight into life on an Icelandic farm told through sensitive cinematography and understated storytelling. The vast space across rugged wind-swept landscapes have a brutal beauty and enter our viewing space with a chill you can feel. Long camera takes and even longer silences are expressions about the brothers lives in an environment untouched by modernity, with quirky Icelandic wit to brighten a muted colour palette of white and grey. The musical score erupts expressively to accentuate moments of humour, sadness and hope, often with just a few single dramatic piano chords. The scenes where beloved stock must be destroyed brought audible sniffles across my cinema. Through adversity, the brothers are forced to rely on each other and in the process renew something that should not have been lost so long ago.

As an independent film RAMS is free to roam wherever its directorial and storytelling intentions choose and this results in a refreshingly different movie experience. Many will wonder why it has been so highly lauded because the pace is glacially slow, the actors are more like cameo characters, and some will find the concept of loving animals like family a bit weird. But others will see the primal relationship of shepherd to land and flock, be touched by the love that surfaces from under decades of sibling discord, and enjoy an old fashioned story about farm life in a hostile place. The ending is poignant, ambivalent, and a metaphor for the triumph of love and family.


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