Iceland is terrible and beautiful.
A wooden trunk is uncovered with seven photographs in it from a hundred and fifty years ago in Iceland. The trunk belonged to a Danish priest who died there. Among the images are snow covered mountain ridges, a waterfall, glacier, and a portrait of a girl on a horse. Godland imagines the circumstances of how the photographs were taken.
A young Danish priest, Lucas, is assigned to a remote Icelandic village. He is told to adapt to the people and place, but because he is arrogant, he does neither. Against the advice of his guide and despite freezing rain and snow, Lucas insists upon going into the mountains and crossing a treacherous river. By the time they make it to his assigned village, Lucas is miserable, detested, isolated, and barely alive. Lucas is destined to become a part of Iceland, but not in the way he desires.
The sights and sounds of Godland are exquisite and resplendent. Listen to the women and birds singing, the ocean swells, the roar of a waterfall, a fierce river current, and volcano rumbling. Peer beneath the surface of the river, look across ice fields and canyons, see raindrops beginning to fall on smooth and sable stone, find your way through the thick fog, and gaze up close into a woman's eyes.
One of Lucas' greatest mistakes is seeing himself apart from nature, animals, and the local people. In showing the cycles of the seasons, and of life and death, Godland gently makes us aware of this crime. It is just one of the many wonders and complexities of this compelling, visually stunning, and thought-provoking film.
Godland premiered in Cannes and I saw it at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Loading video, please wait...
It's the 19th century and Iceland is a Danish colony. Young Danish priest Lucas, played by Elliott Crosset Hove, embarks on a voyage to build a church in remote Iceland, taking an arduous journey on horseback across the harsh landscape. Fragile, snobbish Lucas engages in a battle of wills with Ragnar, played by Ingvar Sigurðsson, his gruff, experienced Icelandic guide. How this priest will fare living among a people connected to the forces of nature, rather than the will of God, is his true test. Filmed across many years, director Hlynur Pálmason showcases the landscape of Iceland and how it ravishes life on the nation island, requiring all who live there to commune with nature in a spiritual act.
Uploaded by: FREEMAN