The County is the third feature film from Icelandic writer/director Grimur Hakonarson (Multi award winning Rams, now copied and currently shown in an Australian version).
It opens with Inga (Arndis Hrounn Egilsdotti, brilliantly played by veteran theatre actor in her first leading film role) calmly and professionally assisting the birth of a calf with chains attached its ankles.
Inga (Arndis Hrounn Egilsdotti) and Reynir (Hinrik Olafsson) live on their dairy farm in a beautiful remote valley in Iceland. It has been farmed by the same family for generations. They are hard-working, exhausted at the end of each day – and have not had a holiday for three years. They owe money to the local co-op for machinery and supplies.
Led by chairman Eyjolfur (Sigurour Slgurjonsson) the corrupt local co-op have a Mafia-type control over the farmers who have all signed up for their services. They have a monopoly on buying their milk and selling food and farming supplies at inflated prices.
Reynir dies while driving on a snow-covered road, his death caused by falling asleep or suicide, and Inga is left to run the farm on her own. Their bank account is closed, and she discovers that before he died her husband was pressurized into being the key informant for the co-op when farmers bought elsewhere.
Outraged and threatened by bankruptcy, and with nothing to lose, Inga remains strong and determined to fight threats from co-op officials. Times are changing. She uses social and mainstream media to sell milk, gain publicity, and expose corruption.
Frustrated she shovels fertilizer over an official’s car and drives to town in her red tractor to spray milk over the co-op building. There are threats made, but the only violence is to a few plastic chairs and pot plants by a man easily deterred by her shotgun.
After a public meeting the farmers form a new association and Inga, now bankrupt, confidently begins a new life.
Icelandic language with English sub-titles.
Showing at UWA Somerville, Crawley from November 30 to March 28. Gates open at 6 pm. Film starts at 8 pm.
Watch the trailer…