Hlynur Pálmason’s extraordinary third feature finds a Danish priest battling both locals and a forbidding landscape in 19th-century Iceland.
Lutheran priest Lucas (Elliott Crosset Hove) has been assigned by the Church of Denmark to establish a parish in the barren wilds of Iceland. He decides to take an arduous cross-country route, much to the annoyance of his guide and soon-to-be neighbour Ragnar (Ingvar Sigurðsson), who has to drag him to their destination when the priest falls from his horse. Undeterred, Lucas begins his work, but finds the locals less than receptive to his spiritual advances.
Pálmason’s acclaimed A White, White Day (2019) cemented his reputation as a filmmaker with an eye for striking details. Here, he goes further, creating a world of transcendent beauty that is nevertheless unforgiving to those who attempt to live in it.