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The Icelandic Dream

(Íslenski draumurinn)
Iceland 2000. Dir: Róbert I. Douglas. 92 min. 35mm

The domestic-hit debut feature of Reykjavik music video director Róbert I. Douglas is an acerbic portrait of an Icelandic hoser and an engaging parody of the Icelandic (and American) Dream. Stylistically indebted to Denmark’s Dogme 95 movement, the film concerns unlikable “entrepreneur” Tóti (Thórhallur Sverrisson), a failure at every one of the many crazy schemes he turns his maladroit hand to. Tóti is abusive to family and friends, loathed by his ex-wife, and a stifling bore to his young daughter. Even his favourite footy team is a loser. Tóti’s latest crackpot idea, illegally importing Bulgarian cigarettes, threatens to be another fiasco. But when it transpires that the smuggled smokes contain a sought-after herb, it may be that Tóti’s luck has turned. “Scruffy, endearing, and comic ... The Icelandic Dream rides on a grungy charm” (Steve Gravestock, TIFF).