[Vanskabte Land], directed by Hlynur Pálmason, Denmark / Iceland / France / Sweden, 138' (English friendly)
- Hlynur Pálmason’s (Winter Brothers, A White, White Day) latest film, presented in Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard section, is a masterful display of the director’s method. Spectacular, dramatic and volatile Icelandic landscapes reflect the characters’ state of mind: they visualise the harshness of the rules, portray the glaciations of the soul, and foreshadow the accumulation of conflicts.
- Through cold streams, bare rocks and emerald mosses, Lutheran priest Lucas (Elliott Crosset Hove) heads towards his new parish. Local guide and storyteller Ragnar (Ingvar Sigurðsson) accompanies the young Dane. From the start, their relationship is fraught with tension, as the priest has a mission and a passion for colonizing, which the old man stubbornly resists. Set at the end of the 19th century, the screenplay refers to the dependencies between Iceland and Denmark, but the complex relations of power and serfdom shown by the director go beyond historical accounts and religious hierarchies. Godland is a film about loneliness, alienation and bitterness. But also about an artist who freezes and fixes life on glass negatives, just like a glacier.