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Vanskabte land

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In the late nineteenth century, a Danish Lutheran priest is dispatched to a far corner of Iceland where a devout farmer has seen fit to build a church. The journey is arduous but spectacular, more so (on both counts) because Lucas insists on lugging around his camera across the inhospitable terrain. This first half of the film evokes the epic colonial odysseys of Herzog, Scorsese, and Lucrecia Martel… In the second half, our missionary is forced to contend not with the forbidding landscapes, but a crippling crisis of faith, his attraction to the farmer’s daughter, and the darkly suspicious locals.

Director Hlynur Pálmason (Winter Brothers; A White, White Day) was himself born in Iceland but moved the opposite direction, to Denmark. He has crafted a stark, bitterly funny, visually arresting fable.

Arrestingly beautiful and philosophically imposing… A voyage of visual splendor, as terrifying as it is breathtaking.

Carlos Aguilar, Indiewire

One secret of this extraordinary film, and of its power to exhilarate: the shock of emotional vigor, arising from the continual rub of physical texture and effort.

Anthony Lane, New Yorker


Hlynur Pálmason


Elliott Crosset Hove, Ingvar Sigurðsson, Vic Carmen Sonne, Jacob Hauberg Lohmann, Ída Mekkín Hlynsdóttir, Waage Sandø, Hilmar Guðjónsson

Country of Origin





In Danish and Icelandic with English subtitles

143 min

Book Tickets

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Hlynur Pálmason


Maria von Hausswolff


Julius Krebs Damsbo

Original Music

Alex Zhang Hungtai

Production Design

Frosti Friðriksson