Rams1Having picked up over twenty-five international film awards in 2015, it’s hardly surprising that Rams is selling out cinemas. Currently playing in Sweden at the Goteborg Film Festival, Rams is just a strong as ever in its depiction of the harsh lives of sheep farmers in rural Iceland.

Set in a remote valley, Rams follows Gummi and Kiddi, two brothers who, despite bring neighbours, haven’t spoken to one another in forty years. The two men breed award-winning sheep from an ancient pedigree, and after the annual sheep competition in the community Gummi discovers that Kiddi’s prize-winning sheep are showing symptoms of scrapie, an incurable and highly contagious disease that attacks sheep viciously. The discovery of the disease is a devastating loss for the community, but it hits Gummi quite hard. Gummi’s only solution is to find a way to save his pedigree, and this comes with its own difficulties and consequences.

Director Grimur Hakonarson has a brilliant eye for rural Iceland, having grown up in the region and seeing the true hardships of the farming community first hand. Rams is a beautifully shot and paced film that outlines the kinds of conditions farmers must endure. Beyond showing the true dramas of farming life, Rams also has its moments of humour – Gummi constantly being interrupted while bathing, Gummi’s care for Kiddi when he lies drunk in the snow, the cheery Border Collie delivering notes between the brothers properties, etc.

We’ve reviewed Rams before (which you can read here), and we’ve spoken to Grimur Hakonarson about his film (read here). For this Goteborg review, I’ll say that Rams is one of the best Nordic films to be released in recent years, and is clearly deserving of all the love it is receiving. If you get the chance to see it on the big screen, be sure not to miss it!

Release dates:

  • USA: 3rd Feb 2016
  • UK: 5th Feb 2016
  • Brazil: 11th Feb 2016
  • Canada: 20th Feb 2016



CategoriesIceland Reviews
Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.