Woman at War – Iceland/France/Ukraine
Show times: 6:30 & 8:30 pm
Director: Benedikt Erlingsson
Cast: Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir, Jóhann Sigurðarson, Juan Camillo Roman Estrada
Running time: 101 minutes
Language: Icelandic with English subtitles
Cannes Film Festival: Screenwriting Award; Hamburg Film Festival: Best Feature; Montreal Film Festival of New Cinema: Best Actress; 22 other wins; 13 nominations
“Is there anything rarer than an intelligent feel-good film that knows how to tackle urgent global issues with humor as well as a satisfying sense of justice? Look no further than Woman at War.” – Jay Weissberg, Variety
As a follow-up to his 2013 film Of Horses and Men, director Benedikt Erlingsson delivers the Cannes 2018 award winner Woman at War, a timely film that speaks to social awareness with wit and warmth.
Halla (Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir) is a middle-aged choir director in a small town, popular amongst her neighbours and respected in the community. Unbeknownst to her fellow citizens, she is also an environmentalist vigilante who destroys power lines in an effort to preserve the beautiful local countryside. Deep in the trenches of her anonymous battle against industrialist destruction, Halla depends on the few solitary sources of support in her life: her identical twin sister (also played by Geirharðsdóttir), a co-conspirator (Jorundur Ragnarsson, Rams) who keeps her updated on the movements of the government, and a mysterious local farmer (Jóhann Sigurðarson).
Just as Halla begins to ramp up her anti-industrial campaign efforts, she receives entirely unexpected news: an application she made years ago to adopt a child from Ukraine has finally been approved, and she’s about to become a mother.
Anchored by Geirharðsdóttir’s standout performance, Woman at War provides a breathtaking showcase for Iceland’s natural beauty; the surrounding landscapes are stunningly shot and provide a quick answer to the question of why one woman would take on an entire industrial complex to preserve them. Enveloped in spectacular camerawork, inventive sound design, and genuinely moving performances, Woman at War reminds us that some things are worth fighting for.