Rams | Film review - Icelandic drama finds humour and pathos in sheep farmers' feud

Rams Sigurður Sigurjónsson Theodór Júlíusson

Rams Sigurður Sigurjónsson Theodór Júlíusson

There’s something inescapably comic about the deadpan, absurdist set-up of the prize-winning Icelandic drama Rams (Hrútar), which revolves around two feuding sheep farmers whose shaggy beards and woolly jumpers are a perfect match for their flocks. The story that slowly unfolds, however, turns out to be surprisingly gripping and ultimately moving.

Estranged brothers named Gummi (Sigurður Sigurjónsson) and Kiddi (Theodór Júlíusson), this ornery, cussed pair live next door to each other in a remote valley but haven’t spoken in 40 years. Surely the disastrous outbreak of the contagious disease scrapie will be enough to end their feud. Or will it?


Certificate 15. Runtime 89 mins. Director Grímur Hákonarson

Rams debuts today on Sky Cinema Premiere and is available on Blu-ray & DVD from Soda Pictures.


Jason Best

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.