Thursday 18 April 2019

Takk, Benedikt Erlingsson

Yesterday I watched 'Woman at War' - a movie made in Iceland, about Halla who is a lone eco-warrior, fighting Rio Tinto. She's resourceful, brave, careful and determined, and a perfect inspirational Waiheke heroine, fighting Big Aluminium and never giving up. 
But I, of course, watched it for the locations. As soon as I saw the trailer, I wanted to see the movie and get a taste again of the five days I spent in Iceland. getting on for a year ago now. And I wasn't disappointed: there was Reykjavik's iconic Hallgrimskirkja, the concrete church on the hill that dominates the skyline. There were the colourful corrugated-iron houses and the narrow hilly streets that I happily trailed around for hours.
There was a scene at þingvellir (Thingvellir, to you non-linguists unfamiliar with thorn) on the path beneath the cliff, with the flag flying. I walked along there. All tourists do.
But most of the exterior action took place in the lava fields: vast expanses of mossy rocks surrounding the volcanoes, and how bleak they did look. I was there in summer, when the sun actually shone occasionally (for the first time for six weeks) and the moss was green-gold under a sometimes blue sky, the grass was lush, and everywhere were sheets of purple lupins. This movie though was filmed in autumn or maybe spring, when the sky was grey, the days short, the light muted, and there were no colours. It looked sternly inhospitable country. Still striking, though, with steaming rivers and distant mountains, glaciers, and a big, big sky.
It was so pleasing to see it all again, to hear that incomprehensible language being spoken, recognise a few words, see those tall, well-built people, and remember so clearly the triumph of actually getting to go there.
And the movie was funny, quirky, serious, sweet, clever and unusual. I recommend it.

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