Drama Movie

Hrútar The story of the two brothers and the eight sheep

This warm-hearted fictional genre film from Iceland won a kind of attention award at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in 2015 for its no-movement approach. At the Northern Film Festival it shines once again. The film has a simple plot, no ups and downs, not even much dialogue, and the whole film maintains a kind of high and cold that is characteristic of Scandinavians at first glance.

Of course, it also maintains the unique scenery of northern Europe, the whistling sea breeze, gloomy weather, endless grasslands and mountains behind, and the onset of winter after the endless snowstorm and a day without going out to sweep the snow is enough to block the snow on your home.

The name of the movie is called “Rams”, the movie’s high cold can be imagined, even the name of the movie can not give the audience a little guess information, see the name can only think of a group of rams, almost no expectations for the movie.

In fact, it has a subtitle – “A Tale of Two Brothers and Eight Sheep”, the subtitle may not be as evocative as those blockbusters, but at least the film’s storytelling can be shown. At least we can know that there will be two brothers and eight rams in this movie, and there will be a story. So, the desire to see this movie will come.

After reading the subtitle and looking forward to the exciting story of the movie, the movie starts slowly, but you will slowly find that the pace of the movie is too slow, basically there is no story. Even if there is a story, it is also a story that you love to hear.

The main characters of the movie are two old brothers over 100 years old, they live in a valley farm, and all the inhabitants of this valley to raise sheep, and this group of people is the true love of sheep, the sheep as children, and even god-like to see. They will put the sheep in the bathtub to give it a bath, they will hold the sheep and call them good baby.

The movie starts with the brothers’ farm. Although they are a pair of brothers, they do not communicate with each other and have never spoken to each other for forty years. They just live in two small houses a few meters apart, each taking care of their own farm and raising their own sheep.

As the story develops, we can clearly see that the older brother is a debauched and wild person, loud, violent drinkers, and can take out a hunting rifle when his temper is hot; while the younger brother is a gentle and quiet person, gentle talkers, like to read music, and relatively small-minded.

So they do not communicate with each other mainly because the brother does not want to talk to his brother, when he has something to inform his brother, will let a dog to pass information; and with the brother’s wild nature, every time he drinks too much or upset will come to the brother’s window to shout and scream, or even shoot to break his glass, and the brother can only panic and flee to the basement to sleep, and never talk.

The gap between the two brothers or the biggest ambiguity of the film, and the main reason for their gap may be the same as many Chinese brothers, arguing over their parents’ inheritance and finally turned on each other.

It turns out that when their father died, he made a will to leave the farm to his brother; and when his mother died, he promised his mother that he would let his brother stay on the farm. In the end, the brother was content to live there, while the brother had to start a new farm on the side.

The brothers stayed out of touch with each other for forty years because of this, until the arrival of sheep itch. This is one of the main stories of the film.

“Pruritus is a progressive central nervous system disease that occurs in sheep, is highly contagious and incurable, and has a viral origin that dates back to the 18th century. In short, it is a long-standing plague in the world of sheep.

In a contest to select a beautiful sheep, the brother’s sheep narrowly won first place, while the brother’s sheep had to settle for second place. The unconvinced brother personally checked the brother’s sheep, only to find that this one might have had sheep itch, so he reported the incident to the local veterinarian.

After examination, the veterinarian confirmed the existence of sheep itch. Because of the widespread contagiousness of this virus, the local government required all sheep on all farms in this valley to be slaughtered and buried, and disposed of all production tools related to sheep, including: pens, forage, and wood, to ensure that all viruses were killed. It will be two years before new sheep are brought in.

This is certainly a big blow to this group of people who live by sheep herding and use sheep as the most important existence in their lives. After the sheep were disposed of, some of them went bankrupt and had to move away from the place; some were depressed every day and didn’t know where to go; the older of the two brothers drank heavily every day, often falling down drunk on the roadside and almost freezing to death.

For them it is not just a group of sheep, but a kind of sheep. If all the sheep in the valley were killed, then the Bollstad sheep would be extinct.

The brother, who loved sheep as much as he did, secretly kept eight sheep and kept them in the basement of his house. Every day he brings them grass and water, watches them mate, sits by their side and reads, and just quietly lives a life with sheep, happily.

To protect the flock from detection, he does not want people to come to his home, not even to give his friends a cup of coffee. Only when forced to do so, he would let others in the door. But in the end, paper could not cover the fire, and the existence of this flock of sheep was discovered by a veterinarian.

The desperate brother had to go to his brother for help, and he drove all the sheep to his brother’s door to ask for help. The brother, who also loved sheep, naturally put aside his past grudges and was very happy to save the sheep. Because the government was searching for the sheep, the sheep hidden in the brother’s house would sooner or later be discovered, so the brother proposed to drive the sheep to a valley in the highlands, where they could escape the winter.

The two brothers joined forces and went on their way. In a snowstorm, the brothers rode a snowmobile, drove the eight remaining Borestad sheep, and took a sheepdog with them on the road. After nightfall, the Icelandic blizzard was enough to bury all life in the wild. The sheep were lost in the mists, and the brother was frozen unconscious by the blizzard.

The brother, at this time, dug a hole in the snow, detached his brother into it, and warmed the unconscious brother with his body temperature.

The movie ends here, leaving the audience with an open ending. Where the sheep will go, whether they will survive, whether the virus will break out in Iceland, whether the two brothers will be buried in the snow, all of this we do not know.

But what we do know is how much the shepherds in this valley love sheep, to quote a passage from the movie: “In this country, in this land of ice and fire, nothing can surpass the importance of sheep, resistance and support in the face of all disasters, but also a friend and savior of mankind for thousands of years. Every day, whether joyful or painful, the life of a sheep is tied to its shepherd and its hard work and resilience. If our sheep are happy, the sun will warmly bless all; if our sheep are unhappy, it is as dark as night and curse.”

As you can imagine, in the Icelandic valley, the population density is so low that you can’t even find a single human presence at a glance, but rather large areas of sheep. Living in an extremely boring single and become lonely life, their life’s only support may be the sheep. Sheep, for them is not only the economic source of life, but also to support the elements of life, just like living in the metropolis you can not live without a cell phone computer wifi.

And more importantly, the brothers do not interact with each other because of their farm affiliation, but they are with each other at the closest distance. Although they have no language communication, giving outsiders a feeling of incompatibility, but ultimately there is a brotherhood of blood thicker than water.

The younger brother will drive the bulldozer to take his brother to the door of the hospital when he froze and fainted on the side of the road, without any rebellion. Such scenes have a sense of violent warmth, although the approach does not make sense, but the purpose is ultimately love. In the end, the brother who loves sheep as much as he does will ignore the whereabouts of the sheep and use his own body heat to warm his unconscious brother in the freezing weather.

This is the “story of two brothers and eight sheep”, sheep and people form a highly harmonious relationship, and the brothers because of the sheep to abandon the separation. Very small pattern, very deep touch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button