Every shot in this film, which is the first Ethiopian movie to premiere at Cannes (its director Yared Zeleke attended NYU), is so packed with cultural information that you will lose track of its story, which is not complicated. It concerns a rural boy and his close relationship to a lamb. This furry animal also loves the boy, who has recently lost his mother. When the boy’s father moves to the city to look for work, he leaves his son with relatives. The rural world of the boy, his family, and animal, which constantly faces the danger of becoming dinner, has no electricity, running water, or any of conveniences of a modern home. What these people have are lots of traditions and rituals. Before a word is spoken on some matter, there is all of this kissing and other formalities that must happen. This is how it’s done in the country. The cinematography, strong performances, and solid direction make this work one of the best in the African Pictures section of the festival. (CHARLES MUDEDE)
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