Denmark, Iceland 2015


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.

Directors Statement

The idea behind the film is based on my acquaintance with rural people and rural culture in general. Both of my parents were raised in the countryside and I was sent there to live and work most summers until I reached the age of 17.

Conflicts between neighbours are very common in the countryside in Iceland. Many Icelanders are very stubborn and independent, they want to stand on their own and distrust everything that comes from abroad. This independent thinking often goes beyond all logic. In the farming world, rams are often said to be the most stubborn of animals.

The title of the film, RAMS, is a metaphor for the two warring brothers. Most farmers I know have a stronger connection to sheep than to other domestic animals. Their main goal in life is to cultivate good stock, win ram competitions, head to mountains to round up sheep and return astoundingly heavy lambs. Loosing the livestock is the worst thing that could happen to them.

Links / Reference

The Icelandic director Grímur Hákonarson, born in 1977, graduated from FAMU - Film Academy of Performing Arts in Prague in 2004. His graduate film, SLAVEK THE SHIT, was the first film that got international attention. It was selected to the Cinefoundation section of Cannes Film Festival 2005 and won 12 festival prizes, including the Silver Hugo at Chicago IFF. His next short film, WRESTLING, premiered in Locarno in 2007 and is one of the most successful short films from Iceland. It won 25 festival prizes around the world.

INTERVIEW with Grímur Hákonarson

Cast & Crew

Directed by : Grímur Hákonarson

Written by : Grímur Hákonarson

Produced by : Grímar Jónsson

Director of Photography : Sturla Brandth Grøvlen

Editor : Kristján Loðmfjörð

Production Design : Bjarni Massi Sigurbjörnsson

Composer : Atli Örvarsson

Sound Design : Huldar Freyr Arnarson, Björn Viktorsson

Main Cast : Sigurður Sigurjónsson (Gummi), Theodór Júlíusson (Kiddi)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Film 2015
  • EFA Selection 2015