Languages Archives: Icelandic

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Godland Vanskabte Land

  Hlynur Pálmason

  Denmark, Iceland, France, Sweden     143 minutes


In the late 19th century, arrogant if naïve Danish priest Lucas travels to Iceland, then a colony of Denmark, to establish a remote parish for homesteaders and convert the locals to Christianity. To reach his outpost, Lucas must traverse the harsh foreign landscape—a grueling journey for which he is decidedly ill-suited. Although local guide Ragnar has been hired to ensure the entourage’s safe passage, Lucas can’t help but treat the Icelander with contempt. Recalling the grand thematics, foreboding landscapes, and existential angst in the best work of Werner Herzog and Ingmar Bergman, the film builds to an inexorable clash between the imperious outsider and the wary locals. Inspired by a collection of wet plate photographs of rural Iceland taken by a priest in the late 1800s, Godland is a forceful, inspired critique of the destructive impact of the colonial endeavor.


58th Chicago International Film Festival Gold Hugo and Silver Hugo: Best Cinematography. Learn more…

 Danish, Icelandic with subtitles 

Content Warning

This film contains scenes of animal violence.

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Screenings & Events

Film Credits

  •   Katrin Pors, Anton Máni Svansson, Eva Jakobson, Mikkel Jersin
  •   Hlynur Pálmason
  •   Julius Krebs Damsbo
  •   Frosti Friðriksson
  •   Maria von Hausswolff
  •   Elliott Crosset Hove, Ingvar Sigurðsson, Vic Carmen Sonne, Jacob Hauberg Lohmann, Ída Mekkín Hlynsdóttir, Waage Sandø, Hilmar Guðjónsson
  •   Björn Viktorsson, Kristian Eidnes Andersen
  •   Alex Zhang Hungtai
  •   Snowglobe, Join Motion Pictures, Maneki Films, Garagefilm International, Film i Väst


International Competition Patron

Jacolyn and John Bucksbaum Family Foundation

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  Álfrún Örnólfsdóttir

  Iceland     87 minutes


If This Is Spinal Tap had been centered on an all-female group of Icelandic performance-artist musicians, it would look a lot like Band. singer-turned-filmmaker Álfrún Örnólfsdóttir’s hilarious and poignant portrait of the misadventures of her Post Performance Blues Band. Renowned in the underground Reykjavik music scene since 2016 for their electro-punk sound and spandex-clad modernist dance moves, Álfrún and her friends Saga and Hrefna, nearing 40, double down on their artistic pursuits: They give themselves one year to become avant-garde pop stars—or relinquish their ambitions once and for all. Filled with absurdist humor and hard-to-believe-it’s-real moments, Band is a colorful, zany, and subversively heartfelt celebration of adult friendship and an ode to boldly, if also somewhat recklessly, pursuing your dreams.

 English, Icelandic with subtitles 

Screenings & Events

Virtual Screening

Available to stream Oct 13 @ 12:00pm CT through Oct 23 @ 11:59pm CT for a 48-hour watch window. Available in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin only.


Film Credits

  •   Heather Millard, Þórður Jónsson
  •   Álfrún Örnólfsdóttir
  •   Kristján Loðmfjörð
  •   Sebastian Ziegler
  •   Álfrún Örnólfsdóttir, Saga Sigurðardóttir, Hrefna Lind Lárusdóttir
  •   Kjartan Kjartansson
  •   The Post Performance Blues Band
  •   Álfrún Örnólfsdóttir, Shane Boris, Sara Dosa, Anna Hildur Hildibrandsdóttir
  •   Compass Films


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Documentary Patron

Cynthia Stone Raskin

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Noi Albinoi

Is he the village idiot or a genius in disguise? 17 year old Noi drifts through life on a remote fjord in the north of Iceland. In winter, the fjord is cut off from the outside world, surrounded by ominous mountains and buried under a shroud of snow. Noi dreams of escaping from this white-walled prison with Iris, a city girl who works in a local gas station. But his clumsy attempts at escape spiral out of control and end in complete failure. Only a natural disaster will shatter Noi’s universe and offer him a window into a better world.

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