Lamb

Lamb ★★★★

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.

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