|Elliott Crosset Hove
||Vic Carman Sonne
||Jacob Hauberg Lohmann
||Ída Mekkín Hlynsdóttir
|Friðrik Hrafn Reynisson
||Friðrik Snær Friðriksson
||Gunnar Bragi Þorsteinsson
||Ingvar ÞórðarsonIngvar Þórðarson
|Elliott Crosset Hove||Ingvar Sigurðsson||Vic Carman Sonne|
|Jacob Hauberg Lohmann||Hilmar Guðjónsson||Waage Sandø|
|Ída Mekkín Hlynsdóttir||Snæbjörg Guðmundsdóttir||Friðrik Hrafn Reynisson|
|Friðrik Snær Friðriksson||Gunnar Bragi Þorsteinsson||Ingvar ÞórðarsonIngvar Þórðarson|
|Elliott Crosset Hove||Ingvar Sigurðsson|
|Vic Carman Sonne||Jacob Hauberg Lohmann|
|Hilmar Guðjónsson||Waage Sandø|
|Ída Mekkín Hlynsdóttir||Snæbjörg Guðmundsdóttir|
|Friðrik Hrafn Reynisson||Friðrik Snær Friðriksson|
|Gunnar Bragi Þorsteinsson||Ingvar ÞórðarsonIngvar Þórðarson|
From the moment he arrives, it’s clear Lucas is ill-suited for this assignment. Uninformed, inexperienced, and ridiculously proud, Lucas is paranoid and threatened by everyone – convinced that anyone speaking Icelandic is disparaging him. The biggest threat in Lucas’s eyes, though, is his guide Ragnar (Ingvar Sigurðsson), who’s as accustomed to the harsh environment as Lucas is discomfited. Their relationship soon devolves into a fierce, dangerous battle of wills between coloniser and colonised, pedant and peasant. The useless but entitled priest/intellectual is a staple of Icelandic literature and film (see Halldór Laxness’s best novels), but rarely has the type been more devastatingly critiqued.
Pálmason also adds an entirely different element in several scenes, as we watch bodies of animals and humans decay over time. These scenes suggest loss and communion, and underscore that it’s not only other humans Lucas can’t fathom – he’s also blind to the larger spiritual issues he’s there to illuminate.
Since his first feature, Pálmason has demonstrated a unique sensibility and approach to the medium. Though a Danish–Icelandic co-production, the film is a specifically Icelandic tale and Pálmason’s most ambitious, and perhaps best, film yet.