The County (Héraðið)
Arndís Hrönn Egilsdóttir, Þorsteinn Bachmann, Þorsteinn Gunnar Bjarnason
A woman takes on the corruption of her local co-op and the outdated, exploitative system that supports it in this rousing, crowd-pleasing drama, the latest from acclaimed Icelandic filmmaker Grímur Hákonarson (Rams).
Set in a small Icelandic farming community, The County tells the story of Inga (Arndís Hrönn Egilsdóttir), a middle-aged dairy farmer who courageously rebels against the corrupt, all-powerful local Cooperative. Trying to get other farmers to join her in rising up against the Co-op, she encounters great resistance, forcing her to confront the community’s dependence on and loyalty to it; and must use all her resourcefulness and cunning to break free of its grasp.
Driven by Egilsdóttir’s gritty and moving performance (and featuring a fine turn from Rams star Sigurður Sigurjónsson as the Co-op’s sleazy director), Hákonarson explores Iceland’s deeply rooted rural culture, brilliantly depicting how the harsh conditions of life for Icelanders in these regions tend to engender a resistance to change within their ranks – even as the status quo threatens their own well-being.