This coming-of-age story is set in an unknown place and time where a charismatic hunk of a man called Shepherd (Michiel Huisman – Game of Thrones, Wild) leads an all-female cult. One girl Selah (Raffey Cassidy – Vox Lux, Tomorrowland) begins to question the only world she’s ever known. She was born and raised in this isolated place with these strict rules, but as she’s about to move from her status of sister to that of wife, she begins to see that this is not the paradise they’re supposed to believe in and Shepherd isn’t the man she thought he was. And when some policemen come to talk with him, he forces the group on an arduous trek to seek a new refuge, and things begin to fall apart.
The Other Lamb is beautifully shot and Cassidy plays the awakening cult member very well. But there’s no real narrative. It’s more a meditation on the patriarchy with a menacing tone underneath. I watched the series Unorthodox right after seeing this film and the same themes are explored, though in a much more engaging story. (If you haven’t seen it yet, you really should!) Women being unclean when they’re menstruating. Controlling men deciding who can tell stories or preach the truth. You’ve seen it before. The film tries hard to be Midsommer or A Handmaid’s Tale, but it just doesn’t get there. Sadly, it’s mainly style and very little substance.
Available now streaming on various VOD sites.