By Þórólfur Björnsson
Hrútar, titled "Rams" in North America (and released on Netflix), explores the relationships built on centuries of mutual reliance between Icelanders and their sheep. It is set in the context of yet another traditional and typical Icelandic family feud, reminiscent of Íslendingasögur (Icelandic Sagas).
When a ram is found to be carrying scrapie, and the government orders the slaughter of all sheep in the area, two farming brothers who haven't socially talked to each other in 40 years, and whose only interaction is to actually physically fight, need to come together to salvage what they can. And to survive.
To North American standards, this movie certainly is slow. It however captures well the isolation and pace of farming life in Iceland, as well as the essence of the connection between men and their livestock.
Overall a refreshing movie that is very different from the typical Hollywood productions that have become so predictable and meaningless.
Trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AEEiTqr2lc.