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Supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI's Film Audience Network, and funded by Screen Scotland and National Lottery Funding from the BFI

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"Leaves the viewer with a sense of being engulfed by a landscape in which cultures collide – the incarnate and the infinite forever butting heads, neither willing to concede hard-won ground."

GODLAND [Vanskabte land] (DENMARK) 2022 Drama 

Director : Hlynur Pálmason

Starring :  Elliott Crosset Hove  
Ingvar Sigurdsson    
Vic Carmen Sonne
2 hr  23 min    

Iceland is like no other place on Earth, and the films set there can’t help but reflect this. In “Godland,” Icelandic writer-director Hlynur Pálmason attempts to see his homeland through outside eyes, the way it must have looked to the Danes who claimed and controlled it until World War II. Icelandic period pieces are often set much earlier, à la “The Northman,” but this one — at once visually striking and emotionally austere, in its almost Bressonian restraint — takes the country’s colonialist past as its subject, pitting a late-19th-century man of faith against a force far stronger than him, like some kind of Arctic, art-house “There Will Be Blood.”

In the opening scene Lucas (Elliott Crosset Hove), a Lutheran priest, is sent by the Church of Denmark to establish a parish in Iceland, not at all prepared for what lies ahead. He’s a sincere and devout idealist, keen to discover the country and its people on the way to his destination, but Iceland is less welcoming than he’d expected — albeit no worse than he’d been warned — and the difficult journey breaks him the same way that Africa did Col. Kurtz in “Heart of Darkness,” another obvious reference.

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