We will no doubt be told that Iceland exports only what it deems visible to mainlanders, namely a pleasant mix of distinctive landscapes, figures carved in ice and skilfully balanced folklore. Without a doubt. However, it is not this new Woman at War movie that will erode the sympathy of this still very rare country on our screens.
Woman at War movie critic
Resolutely in tune with the times, Woman at war turns her heroine into a somewhat atypical eco warrior, determined to derail the country’s plans to ally with China for heavy exploitation of resources directly contributing to the climate catastrophe that we have already started well. Sabotage on the wild moor for this flamboyant 50s Lara Croft, choir the rest of the time: the somewhat zany comedy is clearly assumed in the exhibition, underlined by a running gag putting a Spanish-speaking tourist at odds with the authorities, always in the wrong place at the wrong time. Adding to the busy schedule is the unexpected arrival of an adopted daughter waiting for her in Ukraine, and the strings are stretched like high-tension lines she slams into the bow.
Woman at War movie manages to hold a quite pleasant crest line: the comedy of the game of cat and mouse with the authorities, the more creaking concerns on the ecological and especially ideological soil, when the claims of the “Woman of the mountains” find themselves diverted by the media which make her the ideal terrorist, and the portrait of a woman deciding to take the fate of the planet in hand with both horns: the global issue of the environment, and that of the individual orphan to be taken in .
A rather amusing transgressive fantasy is added: the music of the film, which we think is off, is revealed by the presence on the screen of a trio of musician, soon alternating with a choir of three women: one Icelandic, the other Ukrainian, symbols awaiting fusion so that the desired family can emerge. If the idea is a little too redundant, the place given to musicians, silent but active witnesses (see the way they turn on the TV to awaken the consciousness of the heroine on her image in the media) is original and evolving, and distils landmarks that punctuate the story by gradually giving it the tone of a fable.
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The variable geometry of the genre also allows it to deviate towards a kind of fairly invigorating survival, which gives pride of place to materials (peat, ice water or the hot spring, ice, the hot body of cattle) and gives the heroine an almost primitive character which allows her character to thicken considerably without bothering with vain talk. The twin sister also allows for a rather original duet and spares (with a few lumps in the springs, it is true) an outcome that takes on the appearance of a fairy tale, without however obscuring the seriousness that motivated in the first place. The ultimate shot of Woman at War movie, immersing the characters to the waist, lucidly shows that one can take a break from the world without being hampered by its mad rush. Acid epilogue for a film less whimsical than it seems, and which feeds its trajectory with a courageous pessimism.