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
First, it shows the traditional way of living at the remote Icelandic countryside, a harsh environment where only sheep and stubborn bearded men seem to be able to survive. The beautiful landscape and the traditional farming community are a wonderful setting for this film.
Secondly, it tells a story with so much nice little details, that it's hard not to like it. It's about two brothers who live a few hundred meters from each other but haven't spoken to each other for 40 years. They communicate, if necessary, by writing letters which are carried from one house to the other by a sheepdog. When their flocks of expertly bred sheep are diagnosed with a deadly disease, their lives are turned upside down.
Thirdly, it is a bittersweet drama with a very positive feeling to it. There are many funny moments, filled with the typical deadpan Scandinavian humour. When one of the brothers finds the other lying motionless in the snow, drunk and possibly freezing to death, he picks him up with a large mechanical shovel, deposits him in front of a nearby hospital, and leaves without even getting out of his machine. But as much as they detest each other, the circumstances make an emotional cease-fire inevitable.
This is one of those little gems that deserve to make it to the final selections of the foreign language Oscars. 'Rams' was submitted by Iceland, but not selected for the final shortlist. What a pity.
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