Woman at War
Director: Benedikt Erlingsson
2018, Iceland, 104 minutes, Digital, NR
Icelandic, with English subtitles
Cast: Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
Halla is a fifty-year-old independent woman. But behind the scenes of a quiet routine, she leads a double life as a passionate environmental activist. Known to others only by her alias “The Woman of the Mountain,” Halla secretly wages a one-woman-war on the local aluminum industry. As Halla’s actions grow bolder, from petty vandalism to outright industrial sabotage, she succeeds in pausing the negotiations between the Icelandic government and the corporation building a new aluminum smelter. But right as she begins planning her biggest and boldest operation yet, she receives an unexpected letter that changes everything. Her application to adopt a child has finally been accepted and there is a little girl waiting for her in Ukraine. As Halla prepares to abandon her role as saboteur and savior of the Highlands to fulfill her dream of becoming a mother, she decides to plot one final attack to deal the aluminum industry a crippling blow.
“As Halla’s actions become riskier and more audacious — made even more questionable by an unexpected development in her personal life — a film that could be a reflexive celebration of radical political action instead becomes a thoughtful meditation on the ethics of extremism, the limits of nonviolence and the proper response to global threats that aren’t just environmental or economic but existential.” – Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post