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Woman at War (2018)

Kona fer í stríð (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Drama, Thriller | 22 May 2018 (Iceland)
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In 2 theaters near Ashburn VA US [change]

Halla becomes a determined environmental activist, but this threatens a long-held hope of hers.
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22 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir ... Halla / Ása
Jóhann Sigurðarson Jóhann Sigurðarson ... Sveinbjörn
Juan Camillo Roman Estrada Juan Camillo Roman Estrada ... Juan Camillo
Jörundur Ragnarsson ... Baldvin
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sólveig Arnarsdóttir Sólveig Arnarsdóttir
Gunnar Bersi Björnsson ... President's Bodyguard
Helga Braga Jónsdóttir Helga Braga Jónsdóttir ... Prison guard
Charlotte Bøving Charlotte Bøving ... Woman at adoption agency
Iryna Danyleiko Iryna Danyleiko ... Ukrainian choir singer
Vala Kristin Eiriksdottir ... Stefania
Magnús Trygvason Eliassen Magnús Trygvason Eliassen ... Drummer
Saga Garðarsdóttir ... Police officer 1
Jón Gnarr ... President of the Republic of Iceland
Galyna Goncharenko Galyna Goncharenko ... Ukrainian choir singer
Omar Gudjonsson Omar Gudjonsson ... Sousaphone player
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Storyline

Halla, a woman in her forties, declares war on the local aluminum industry to prevent it from disfiguring her country. She risks all she has to protect the highlands of Iceland-but the situation could change with the unexpected arrival of a small orphan in her life. Written by Hugo Van Herpe

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Iceland | France | Ukraine

Release Date:

22 May 2018 (Iceland) See more »

Also Known As:

Woman at War See more »

Filming Locations:

Iceland See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,370, 3 March 2019, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$641,641, 21 April 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Trivia

French visa # 144354. See more »

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User Reviews

 
an intelligent heroine in an absurdist eco-thriller
14 April 2019 | by CineMuseFilmsSee all my reviews

Recent movie offerings are over-full of fantasy super-heroines with powers way beyond mortal men: over-hyped and over-sexualised inventions for new-age feminists and the male gaze. In this context of tired cliché's, it is refreshing to find an original approach to the empowerment of women. The Icelandic absurdist eco-thriller Woman at War(2018) is such a film.

The opening scene is a classic Robin Hood trope: framed in profile with arrow fully drawn on a rugged landscape, a female huntress is about to rob the rich and give to the poor. The arrow short-circuits power lines and shuts down a smelter. Popular village choir-leader Halla (Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir) is an unlikely eco-terrorist who sees local industry expansion as environmental vandalism. She systematically takes down more power lines until the government mounts a full-scale investigation into what it believes is industrial sabotage by overseas interests. Narrowly avoiding detection, Halla is suddenly informed that her years of waiting to adopt a child from war-torn Ukraine is successful.

This unusual but uncomplicated plotline is not what makes Woman at Warstand out from other tree-hugging environmental awareness films. Beautifully photographed against magnificent landscapes, the film cleverly breaks through the 'fourth wall' of cinema by having a three-piece band and a choral folk trio incongruously provide the film's diegetic soundtrack. The concept of 'fourth wall' refers to the imaginary bubble that traditionally separates actors and audience. In this case, the musicians are not playing for Hella, they are playing directly to us. We are as much the subject as what we are observing on screen, and it is 'we' who are invited to take a stand on the existential threats posed by human-caused environmental degradation. If an ordinary woman like Halla can rise to the challenge, so can we.

Another way this film stands out is how it balances and integrates several competing femininity stereotypes. Halla teaches singing for the joy of music and is a ruthless industrial saboteur. She is passionately committed to saving the environment but must stay clear of the law if she is to satisfy her deep yearning for motherhood. Strong, defiant, politically aware, she is soft, vulnerable and loving. When the noose tightens on her eco-terrorism, her hippy identical twin sister steps in for a plot twist that takes the story to its ironic finale: a biblical allusion to humanity's march towards the promised land.

Both absurdism and intelligent humour seeps into every part of this film and the ever-present band and singers are constant counterpoints to the stark reality and danger in what Halla is doing. She is an androgynous heroine, totally devoid of feminine conceits, single-minded, yet quintessentially a woman. Viewers will walk out of this with a variety of lingering thoughts; that is the mark of a good film.


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