A White, White Day is a suspenseful Icelandic drama centred on a retired rural police chief whose wife died in a car crash two years ago.
Director Hlynur Palmason, who also wrote the script, is in no hurry to let his story unfold.
The film begins with a long tracking shot of a car driving on a winding mountain road on a misty white day, when the snowy ground merges into the white of the snowy sky.
Suddenly the car veers across the road, crashes through the guard rail and plummets down the cliff face.
There is no dialogue, no indication of who is the driver – though later we gather it was the policeman’s wife.
Next we see time passing in a series of shots of a solitary house, filmed through the years, through the changing seasons.
Gradually we meet the characters.
The taciturn policeman, Ingimundur (Ingvar Sigurosson), is renovating the housel for his daughter and her family, including his eight-year-old granddaughter Salka (Ida Mekkin Hlynsdottir, the director’s daughter).
Ingimundur and Sadka have a close relationship. She stays with him sometimes, he takes her fishing, tells her bedtime stories.
Mostly he is alone.
One day he looks through a box of his wife’s possessions and finds some disturbing photographs.
Was she having an affair? He becomes obsessed with the thought that a man in the village was her lover.
He stalks the man and agonises about the possible affair until his suppressed grief explodes into violence.
The two main characters, Sigurosson and Hlynsdottir, are both outstanding in their portrayal of the loving relationship between the brooding widower and his lively granddaughter.
The gorgeous cinematography by Maria von Hausswolff of the stark Icelandic landscape is a highlight.
Advance screenings of A White, White Day will be held at Luna Leederville from July 2 to 8, with the season opening on July 9.
Watch thr trailer…