An Icelandic supernatural drama directed by Valdimar Jóhannsson, Lamb (Dýrið), received its world premiere yesterday at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The film has been nominated for the festival’s Golden Camera Award as well as the Un Certain Regard Award. It is Valdimar’s first feature film as a director and he told RÚV it is a dream and an honour that the film was chosen for the festival.
Lamb follows a childless couple, María and Ingvar, as they “discover a mysterious newborn on their farm in Iceland. The unexpected prospect of family life brings them much joy, before ultimately destroying them,” according to the film’s plot summary on IMDb. Along with directing, Valdimar wrote the script for the film in collaboration with Icelandic author Sjón.
Learned to deliver a lamb for the role
The film stars Swede Noomi Rapace and Icelander Hilmir Snær Guðnason in the leading roles. Noomi lived in Iceland as a child but this is her first role in Icelandic. The actress revealed that she learned to deliver a lamb for the role. “I was taught by an Icelandic farmer but he went quite fast,” Noomi stated in an interview with France24. “I got a knock, he was like, ‘There’s a lamb coming!’ And I had to run down to the farmhouse and basically put my hands inside of the sheep and pull out a baby lamb.” She called the experience “amazing. I saw life begin and how this amazing, beautiful creature stood up for the first time and started drinking after two or three minutes.”
“We’re just finding our footing after this wonderful reception that the film received,” stated Sara Nassim, one of the film’s producers, after the premiere. “There was a full house and a standing ovation at the end of the screening. We hope people liked the film. All of the responses so far have been very good, there’s been a lot of talk about the film.”
Lamb’s Icelandic premiere is expected this fall.