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
It is more than just raising the livestock to them.
Just a week ago I saw 'Fúsi' which was about an overweight person with the mind of a child. And now another excellent Icelandic movie that centres on the livestock farmers. One of the best movie about the farmers I have seen. It is not all about their farms, but the love and dedication towards their work. About the art of raising animals that passed through the generations who never abandoned their ancestral village to look for a better life somewhere else. But what happens when suddenly a great threat pose to their way of life that they all only known. That's what this film talk about.
This story is about two brothers Gummi and Kiddi, who have not spoken for decades. They live next door to one another in a remote village raising sheep. When one theirs ram wins a prestigious regional contest, that lead to discover a fear of scrapie epidemic, a disease that might wipe out their local breeds. After this incident, the conflict between the brothers escalates further. So what happens after the entire village lose their business to a viral infection brings a dramatic ending to the story.
This is the advantage of watching world cinemas. You will get a chance to learn a different culture and other unfamiliar stuffs. Nowadays Hollywood is about big budget and superhero movies. Small scale films like this are very occasion, but I'm missing nothing through my love to films around the globe.
I love realism films, but still this film gives a cinematic experience with the beautiful interior landscapes of Iceland. Most of the film takes place in the winter, but all the important outdoor sequences came prior to that season. Still the second half is the best part of the storytelling. After all Iceland without ice/snow is unimaginable.
"If we've scrapie in the valley, we're screwed."
The story has a small twist in the halfway mark, that you could see it coming. But the third act was so awesome, because the pace picks up and brings the unexpected ending. Yet, I was little disappointed the way it concluded. I like the details, I don't always like understandable phrase in a film's ending. Those things are effective for the movies that going have a sequel. So what I meant is the end should have been a bit more specific about what actually happens. If it is about the brothers, not the livestock, then the theme is slightly misleading with all the developments.
I was tempted to rate it close to maximum, like as I said the finale took away the fractions of my 'like' towards this wonderful drama. The lead actor from the 'Virgin Mountain' can be seen in a tiny role in a couple of scenes.
I've heard the ram that acted in this called Garpur was credited, but it was not like any special performance. The movie was very slow, but I like this kind of narration when a story demands its own time to bring anything it wanted to tell on its own perfect way. There are scenes with some dark humours, so it is a semi tragicomedy.
The initial parts, maybe the first act looks like an ordinary rural narration, but if you learn about the story and its character prior to your watch then you might feel comfortable with the pace. This film was sent to the recently concluded Oscars to represent Iceland, but failed to make into the ultimate round. Forget the American Academy Awards, this is still an excellent movie. I won't hesitate to suggest it to you all, it is a dull start, but you would feel worth watching it in the end.
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