Icelandic films are often gritty, raw and cold. It is not to everyone’s liking but through the years they have grown to be very popular around the world.
It can be daunting to find a place to start, when watching films from other countries. The following list hopefully helps you a little bit.
The film is based on a novel by the same name by Hallgrímur Helgason. The film was directed by Baltasar Kormákur, who just premiered his newest film Everest at the Cannes film festival.
Djöflaeyjan - Devil’s Island
Based on a novel by Einar Kárason. It tells the story of a few families who lived in old army barracks in Reykjavík. The barracks were supposed to be temporary housing for the British and American armies during WWII, but due to lack of proper housing, they were used for far too many years. In the end, it was mostly poor people who lived there with correlating problems.
Svartur á leik - Black’s Game
Another film based on a novel, this time by Stefán Máni. It tells the story of a young man who gets reacquainted with an old schoolfriend, and joins the drug trade to pay off his debts. It’s not long enough until he’s too deep in the world.
Hross í oss - Of Horses and Men
A country romance about the human streak in the horse and the horse in the human. Love and death become interlaced and with immense consequences. The fortunes of the people in the country through the horses’ perception.
Málmhaus - Metalhead
A girl is caught between the life that took her brother and her own inability to strike out on her own. In her grief, she finds solace in the dark music of Black Metal and dreams of becoming a rock star.