WOMAN AT WAR – When was the last time you saw a movie from Iceland? Well, starting this weekend you’ll have the chance to see this delightful film directed by Benedikt Erlingsson, co-written by the director and Ólafur Egilsson, featuring Halldora Geirharosdottir as the 50-year-old Halla, a director of a choir who has a double life as a sort of ecological warrior.
At this time of climate change with all its unpredictable effects, many people may feel like Halla: compelled to do something –no matter how crazy in the eyes of others– to try to stop the main culprits in the making of this perceived disaster: big industrial corporations.
We see Halla, at the beginning of the movie, using a bow and arrow, an ancient weapon technology although in a modern state-of-the-art incarnation, to cleverly produce short-circuit on a transmission line with the intention of disrupting a nearby aluminum processing plant.
Her actions would eventually become a matter of national security for the government, concerned that the solitary perpetrator of these actions will scare potential investors away. But Halla has other concerns in her mind too: her application to adopt a little orphan girl from Ukraine has just been approved, and she should make the trip there to meet the girl and bring her to Iceland. Things will get complicated, and she must seek some help from her sister, whose interests are more ethereal: yoga and meditation, and the unique occasion to travel to India to be instructed by a famous guru.
The director manages to keep us interested not only in the fate of the unlikely eco-terrorist but also for some the ingenious resources he uses to take us through the story, namely the presence of a band and a trio of Ukrainian folk singers as a kind of ‘live’ musical accompaniment, but not visible to the actors, instead of the off-camera soundtrack.
“Woman at War” a pleasant story of an ordinary woman who decides to do something about climate change, and the response she receives from other people, highly praised at Cannes and other festivals, is especially recommended to those concerned about environmental issues but also, to anyone who appreciate the fighting side of human spirit.
Running time: 101 min