Wayward Heroes: A Survey of Modern Icelandic Cinema
Screening Dates
  • June 23, 2019 6:30

Suggesting an Icelandic version of a classic Ealing Studios comedy, director Ágúst Gudmundsson’s satire chronicles the tumult that results when a group of American soldiers mysteriously sets up camp near a small town in Iceland’s south (echoing the genuine national furor that followed the establishment of a U.S. base in Iceland in 1949). The hero, youth-club leader Eiríkur (Pálmi Gestsson), vocally opposes the armed foreigners (not least because he’s worried local women will be interested in them); his politics have been heavily influenced by his crush on strident town communist Ásthildur (Edda Björgvinsdóttir), with whom he organizes anti-American demonstration. The protest gains little traction, but when word gets out that the Americans are searching for treasure, comic chaos ensues. Ágúst’s 1980 debut Land and Son was Iceland’s first feature of the modern era and is still frequently cited as one the country’s finest films.


Film note adapted from texts written by Steve Gravestock, edited by Andrew Tracy, and provided by TIFF.