This is the Australian premiere and the third feature film from director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurjonsson.
It is set in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, where there is a vibrant film culture funded by the government. It is a black comedy/drama, spiced with dark humour and a surprise ending.
It is a fictional story inspired by a country which has short summers and not a lot of trees. Sunshine is precious and there are many occasions where there is conflict between neighbours about trees and shade.
Alti (Steinpor Hroar Steinporsson) is thrown out of his house by his wife Agnes (Lara Johanna Jonsdotter) when she discovers him watching a sex film in which he is with an old girlfriend. The separation is hostile. She does not want him to connect with their child Asa and he takes to stalking her as she tries to continue her life.
He moves in with his retired parents who live in a street of contempory designed joined houses with small back gardens. His father Baldwin (Sigurour Sigurjonsson) is a mild-mannered man but his wife Inga (Edda Bjorgvinsdottir) is bitter over the death of their son (possibly by suicide, but never properly explained) and on the verge of mental illness.
This house has a large tree which shadows the sundeck of the house next door where the much younger wife likes to sunbake.
In spite of repeated requests to trim the offending tree nothing is done and arguments escalate into tragedy as property is damaged, pets go missing and security cameras are installed. Alti takes to sleeping in a tent on the lawn to keep watch.
The cast and cinema photography are excellent and the film is easy to watch – wryly funny at times.
Icelandic language with English sub-titles.
Showing at UWA Somerville from 12 – 18 March and ECU Joondalup Pines from 20 – 25 March.
Watch the trailer…