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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