I have always had a fascination with cults. Jonestown, The Manson Family, The Branch Davidians, and the list goes on. A film like The Other Lamb is perfect fodder for my cult-obsessed imagination. Watching the movie is what I conceive being in one may be like. Particularly a cult that revolves around a male leader.
“…she becomes impure (i.e., gets her period) and is banished to the outskirts of the camp where she meets one of Shepherd’s former wives, Sarah.”
The Other Lamb takes place in an unnamed idyllic location, surrounded by mountains, forests, and a beautiful waterfall. Aside from being a marvel of nature, the camp where a “family” of sisters, wives, and one male referred to as Shepherd (Michiel Huisman) is extremely secluded from the world at large. Therefore, this cult could operate in relative anonymity, which is obviously a condition under which these sorts of operations thrive. To begin with, a viewer might think, “Okay, this isn’t too bad. These girls all get to live in a beautiful forest with Daario Naharas, and he doesn’t seem too bad other than thinking he’s God.” For the first third of the film, the cult, dare I say, seems almost wholesome. The daughters wear blue, the wives wear red, they do chores, sing songs, and all seems well. Of course, this is a cult, so the other shoe has to drop at some point.
We see the cult through the eyes of Shepherd’s favorite daughter, Selah (Raffey Cassidy). She is exceptionally devout and can’t wait until the time where she can go from being a daughter to a wife, a process called “rebirth.” During this time, she becomes impure (i.e., gets her period) and is banished to the outskirts of the camp where she meets one of Shepherd’s former wives, Sarah (Denise Gough). Sarah explains to Selah that Shepherd is not all that he’s cracked up to be, though, at first, Selah doesn’t believe her. Then she starts having crazy visions, which help wake her up to Shepherd’s sinister nature.
"…slyly pokes at the problems of the patriarchy through the microcosm of the cult."