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Rams

(Hrútar)
Iceland 2015. Dir: Grímur Hákonarson. 93 min. DCP

Winner of the Prix Un Certain Regard at Cannes, Grímur Hákonarson’s festival-circuit hit focuses on two sheep-farming brothers — boastful, hard-living Kiddi (Theódór Júlíusson) and stern, solitary Gummi (Sigurdur Sigurjónsson) — whose long-standing grudge has kept them from speaking to each other for 40 years, despite the fact they’re neighbours. Gummi’s apparent discovery of the lethal disease scrapie in Kiddi’s prize flock causes sibling suspicion and distrust to flare anew; but when government authorities descend on the area and insist on drastic measures to contain an outbreak, it may spell disaster for both the region’s economy and its traditional way of life. Masterfully balancing deadpan comedy and heart-wrenching pathos, Rams “sustains the tension supplied by those escalating stakes while never sacrificing the story’s in-built wit and quirkiness ... A minor classic, no less” (Trevor Johnston, Sight & Sound). — SG/TIFF


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