In rural Portugal, a young farm worker witnesses a strange sexual confrontation. That night, his mother asks him to kill a lamb they are raising, something the younger brother does not understand.
In the bible, a lamb is used to represent Jesus. He is both triumphant but ultimately sacrificed. In this short film, there is an actual lamb, living its life and loved, but who will be sacrificed, much to some people’s horror. The bible often uses lamb imagery to symbolise follows of Jesus, people who want to be blessed and see God. I guess this wording can also be used to describe the man in this film, going about his life, wanting more for his family, and ultimately do what he’s told even though he doesn’t always understand. I really liked this biblical aspect of the film, even though religion wasn’t heavily touched on at any other point. I think metaphors like this in film are truly interesting, leading me to continue thinking about the film and my purpose, long after I’ve finished the credits and understood the basics of the film. But looking away from religion, keeping me thinking also, is other wordings of phrases, like ‘taking the lamb to the slaughter’. Films like this can appear simple, but to anyone who looks a little deeper, they can see so many meanings and metaphors, really strengthening the film.
Written and directed by Davis Pinheiro Vincente, this short is complex, allowing the viewer to take from it what they’d like. I really appreciate people who dive deep into things, leaving clues and more for the audience to take if they’d like. I truly think that this film a success based on my previous points and how something appearing so simple actually feels a whole lot deeper.
Even though everyone acted incredibly, my favourite character was the younger brother who had an attachment to the lamb that was going to be killed. Again with the lamb imagery, we see the boy as an innocent child, someone who can’t cause harm, so that when his older brother does something completely the opposite, we really see how these people start sweetly and innocent, but as they follow others, they will slowly grow out of that. I really thought that the performances were powerful, drawing us into their world, but leaving us unsure about how any of them might suddenly change how they act and be dangerous.
From the colours to the camera angles, this film really was thought out, and you can tell that there is meaning in everything. Depending on whether you’re a general cinema goer or a movie buff, I think you can take something from this short, and it’ll keep you thinking long after.