Woman at War (Kona fer í stríð)
Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir, Jóhann Sigurðarson, Juan Camillo Roman Estrada
From Icelandic director Benedikt Erlingsson, who scored an art house hit with 2013’s triumphant Of Horses and Men, comes another pleasingly off-the-wall story that winningly combines an absurdist comedy with a tense thriller.
Halla (the formidable Halldóra Geirharõsdóttir) seems to lead a quiet and routine existence. But her happy and upbeat exterior hides a secret double life, wherein she also operates as a committed environmental activist. Known to others and in the media only by her alias “The Woman of the Mountain”, she is a Joan of Arc-esque figure, armed with an elaborate bow and arrow, dashing across the countryside to vanquish offenders.
But as she begins to plan her boldest operation yet, and as the government attempts to discredit her, she receives unexpected news – forcing her to choose between her environmental crusade and the chance of fulfilling another, more personal dream.
Playful, touching and funny, Woman at War is confidently and stylishly made, sound-tracked by Icelandic folk music (played quirkily and incongruously by musicians on-screen) as it follows its appealing, fierce and focused heroine as she ponders whether to continue directing her substantial energies out into the world.