Directed by Yared Zeleke
When an Ethiopian boy moves in with distant relatives he takes his pet sheep with him but the upcoming holidays spell danger for his beloved friend.
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★★★★ review by Nick R on Letterboxd
One hell of a debut, both for Yared Zeleke and for contemporary Ethiopian cinema (as this is the first film from the country to make a significant impact on the festival world abroad).
From the rich, tactile first shot of hands on sheep wool to its conventional but nonetheless affecting last moments, there's not a bum note in this: arresting cinematography captures a world that's been excluded from the cinema; a simple narrative builds on subtle details; non-professional actors give lovely naturalistic performances.
The "smallness" of the narrative might keep this from being any sort of sensation, but there's a Bressonian clarity to this, and a nuance to its portrayal of a complex social situation, that makes it deserving of a wide audience's care and attention.
★★★★ review by soul portable on Letterboxd
A beautifully shot film with a simple plot. A peek into the Ethiopian culture that is rare to be seen on screen through the eyes of an innocent boy away from the presence of his parents. Culture, tradition, family, and gender are key elements that make up the movie. It was refreshing to see the landscape almost become a character that plays a crucial role in visually communicating to the audience the cultural overtone of this film.
★★★½ review by Thomas Ringdal on Letterboxd
★★★★★ review by Slappy McGee on Letterboxd
Film #46 of my 2018 MUBI Viewings
Not only gorgeous cinematography, but a very loving look at the coming of age of a young Ethiopian boy who doesn't quite fit in with his world around him.
A unique version of this theme of holding on to one's childhood. For this kid, he literally holds on to it with a rope at times, as the lamb serves as a beautiful metaphor for his childhood innocence. The kindness with which this film addresses their relationship is truly heartwarming and gentle. Loved it so much.
The young boy is also such an honest actor that you are completely drawn into his performance as he shows us so much beneath his eyes. It's handled so well. And the director is patient and lets his camera linger at times which gives us so much of the soul of this young boy's performance onscreen.
The beauty of the country matched with the beauty of this story really gobsmacked me. I did not expect the heights of this film. Wow.
★★★½ review by Jon Rafael Birondo on Letterboxd
MUBI; Foreign 6.1
beautiful landscapes and poignant performances from lamb and lead actor. this film's depiction of the battle between internal emotions and external behavior is one of the best i've seen (imo, better than Moonlight did [hot take warning])
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