DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

A Letter from Helga (Svar við bréfi Helgu)

Love burns red hot smoke in this strangely charming depiction of romance from the 1940s - in the Baltic Competition from the 26th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

QUICK SNAP: LIVE FROM TALLINN

If you’re looking for a thunderous story based on ice and fire, you’re better off sticking to one of the many Thor movies in your local video store. Because what emerges from this film isn’t fire and steel, but flicker and ember, as a village of people gather together to enjoy life as a grand commune. Set on an Icelandic island, the film takes a lyrical tone, which is fitting because one of the characters, Helga, is an aspiring poet. It’s through this predilection for flair, wit and poetry that encourages her to embark on a passionate affair with a farmer, scandalously below her station in life. The lead is played by Hera Hilmar, the daughter of Hilmar Oddsson, who just won the Best Picture prize at Tallinn for his equally poetic feature Driving Mum)

This is not a feverish drama, but instead one that celebrates the landscape as thoroughly as it does the characters caught in an animal embrace. Behind the waters, a war is brewing, as the film adopts the milieu of the 1940s. In one sense, the film recalls the films of the 1940s, considering its slow pace and leisured, naturalistic approach to filmmaking. As it happens, the film is designed to be cherished, and although the characters talk in a style that is difficult to follow on first viewing, the silhouettes exhibit a village who are engaged with the little things in life. Farmers tend to their lambs and their children, surrounded by agrarian beauty.

The film serves as a travelogue of sorts: Throughout the film, there were several points when I thought “I’ll buy a ticket to Iceland next year”. But the film’s central journey is ultimately an internal one, especially for Helga, who spends a great deal of the movie querying her purpose on this island. The film’s lead is a strong one, essentially piecing together a dissertation of lust and silent despair.

True, this isn’t going to be a Christmas favourite in years to come (a shame, considering the crisp, cold weather), but it could very well enjoy a second life as a Spring time film favourite. Arthouse films tend to be favoured during April and May, and in this scenario the temperature, torment and theatre could be enjoyed by viewers. And for those who don’t enjoy the love story can be swayed by the soaring footage of crashing waves and mewing sheep. Yes, this has potential to be a Spring favourite. But don’t expect a volcano or thunderous soundtrack.

This co-production between Iceland, the Netherlands and Estonia is showing in the Baltic Competition of the 26th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.


By - 27-11-2022

DMovies Poll

Are the Oscars dirty enough for DMovies?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

Forget Friday the 13th, Paranormal Activity and the [Read More...]
Just a few years back, finding a film [Read More...]
A lot of British people would rather forget [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]
Sexual diversity is at the very heart of [Read More...]
Films quotes are very powerful not just because [Read More...]

Read More

Driving Mum (Á Ferð með Mömmu)

Hilmar Oddsson
2022

Victor Fraga - 19-11-2022

Middle-aged loner drives his mother's corpse to her desired resting place, encountering curious characters and ghosts of the past along his journey - exquisite Icelandic drama with flavours of Bergman is in cinemas on Friday, March 1st [Read More...]

Ian Christie dissects Powell and Pressburger

 

Victor Fraga - 27-02-2024

Film historian Ian Christie talks to DMovies' editor Victor Fraga about 21st century audiences and their relation to the iconic British filmmaking duo, P&P's influence on other artists, the late Queen, and much more - read our exclusive interview, in partnership with Doesn't Exist [Read More...]

Baldiga – Unlocked Heart (Baldiga – Entsichertes Herz)

Markus Stein
2024

Daniel Theophanous - 26-02-2024

Queer photographer from Germany openly exposed his life in a bid to remove HIV stigma from generations to come - from the Panorama Dokumente section of the Berlinale [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *