Woman at War

Starring Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir, Davíð Þór Jónsson, Magnús Trygvason Eliasen, Ómar Guðjónsson
Written by Benedikt Erlingsson and Ólafur Egill Egilsson
Directed by Benedikt Erlingsson
Iceland/France/Ukraine 2018
101 mins

The Acton Film Club started in 2009 and we are screening a film that may have gone under your radar from every year since we began - this time we arrive at our final film in the sequence - released earlier in 2019.

Halla lives a double life - by day she works as a mild-mannered choral director but in secret she is an eco-terrorist known as 'Woman Of The Mountain' - determined to disrupt the construction of an aluminium smelting plant that will bring further pollution to the land. Her expertise with a bow and arrow causes havoc with power lines across the island - these bold exploits cause the authorities to ramp up their efforts to catch and discredit her.

In the midst of all this drama a long-forgotten application to adopt a child from Ukraine is approved - meaning Halla must try to reconcile her illegal activities with becoming a parent.

Director Benedikt Erlingsson cut his teeth in TV comedy and he infuses Woman At War with a delightfully dry, deadpan humour, underscored by music provided by a quartet who appear onscreen like a Greek chorus. Cinematographer Bergsteinn Björgúlfsson captures the weird beauty of Iceland and gives the movie a distinct and quirky visual style.

This little-seen gem is stylish, funny and affecting - thanks in large part to the terrific performance of Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir in the lead role.