Although this film is entitled Hrútar, the Icelandic word for rams, these beautiful creatures play an ancillary role to a much deeper and more complex storytelling. In an isolated Icelandic valley, where most people work as sheep farmers, a contagious and fatal disease that threatens their animals suddenly appears. In order to fight it, the decision for all flocks to be euthanized is made by the veterinary in charge. Two sheep farmers and at the same time estranged brothers, who haven’t spoken to each other for the last forty years, have to find a way to survive under the new circumstances.
Grímur Hákonarson shows as with simplicity and clarity two different kinds of relationships: the bond between the valley’s residents who share the same interests and fears but, also, the bond between themselves and their animals. This film is a psychographic drama, occasionally lightened up by black humour, with amazing photography (it was filmed in Iceland, after all) and music.
Winning top prize Un Certain Regard at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and Best Film Prize at the 56th Thessaloniki International Film Festival, this film is definitely a must-see (trailer).