One review on 07 Nov 2022

Ireland 2018

Running time: 96 mins

Woman at War

Director : Benedikt Erlingsson 

Setting: Iceland
Original language: Icelandic
Summary: Halla, middle aged and independent, has become a secret direct action activist, repeatedly cutting powerlines to an aluminium smelter.


  • Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir  Halla, and her twin sister

Aspect Ratio: 2.35 (anamorphic)

Colour: Colour

First Seen: Mon 7th Nov 2022
Catalogued: 9th Nov 2022


Halla (Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir) teaches signing, is well liked, independent, and cherishes a desire to adopt a child. She is also a secret solo eco-warrior, repeatedly attacking an aluminium smelter built in the mountains, and succeeding in halting negotiations by the government to built a new plant. Although she works alone she has support in the community - notably a civil servant mole in the choir and a farmer in the mountains.

Unexpectedly after 4 years and assuming that she is now too old to be accepted, she hears that she is being offered a girl to adopt from Ukraine who has lost her family in the war (yes there was a war going on well before 2022).

She has a twin sister (also played by Halldóra) who is more spiritual - a yoga teacher - who also applied to adopt at the same time. As she prepares to go to Ukraine to meet the child she undertakes one final action, this time stealing Semtext from a quarry and bringing down a pylon.

By this time the CIA and Israelis are helping the Icelandic government track her down and she has to dodge drones and dogs and helicopters and roadblocks to complete her mission. Unfortunately she had cut herself at the pylon, and having evaded her pursuers, as she is preparing to embark on the flight she sees they are conducting dna tests on all passengers. Fleeing from the airport she hears on the radio in the taxi that her sister has been arrested so she turns herself in.

In a fine twist her sister and the farmer collude in a plan to get her out of jail in time to go to Ukraine pretending to be her sister to collect the child.

As the film ends she is on the bus back from the orphanage with the girl as it breaks down on a flooded road and the passengers all have to disembark to wade through the water.


by rogerco on Mon 7th Nov 2022 DVD proj @ home (Subtitled)

A fabulous film for our times


A great film, and not just because of the eco-theme. In short it's got everything.

Full review

What's not to like. Its funny, serious, dramatic, tense, human, romantic, eco-themed, beautifully shot, stuning landscapes, strong characters, and surreal.

In short its got everything. Right from the start we get deeply involved in Halla's story with well paced reveals to more depths to her character - not only an eco-warrior, but she also teaches signing, and wants to adopt a child but may be too old, and has a twin sister who has a different kind of strength.

Even the ending is perfect, with Halla and the girl wading through floodwaters which can be seen as a metaphor for the coming troubles. Will they get to the other side  - we hope so, and if anyone will she should.