New Season showing of Godland

(3 October 2023)

Hylnur Pálmason | Denmark/Iceland *** | 2022 | 12 | 143 mins | Danish/Icelandic | Trailer

The late 19th century and Iceland is a Danish colony. Devout young Danish priest Lucas is commissioned to build a new Lutheran parish church in a remote part of coastal Iceland. The first half of the film tracks his arduous journey on horseback across the harsh landscape made more treacherous by the battle of wills and the language barrier between fragile, snobbish Lucas and Ragnar his gruff, pragmatic Icelandic guide. Undaunted, Lucas begins his work but finds the locals less than receptive to his spiritual advances; more connected to the forces of nature than the will of God. Icelandic director Hylnur Pámason reflects on faith, colonialism, spirituality and human frailty. A psychological epic in the vein of Herzog, Bergman and Tarkovsky. The stunning yet austere landscape of Iceland is a highlight, accentuated by a haunting score that creates an other-worldly atmosphere.

Godland is longer than films we typically screen and is not a casual watch but it rewards patience and investment.