In a remote corner of Iceland, winter is coming on. An aging farmer named Hrafn is doing has last chores before leaving with his wife Gróa for a retirement home in the city. Their daughter Lilja will be coming after the weekend to pick them up. She calls her parents, interrupting her dad's lunch. Her mother is napping. The stoic Hrafn wants to make sure she won't come before Monday. What are these last chores? Written by
Visually beautiful, restrained and with a strong vein of pathos
An old man lives with his wife on an isolated farmstead along the Icelandic coastline. His whole life spent there, raising his family and tending his land, he has no wish to give it up and move to the comfortable retirement home that his children have set up for him. However as preparations are made around him, he makes his own plans.
A touching and simple film this one, nothing earth shattering in the emotions it delivers and the plot "twist" is not really going to take anyone by surprise but then that is not the intension. Instead it is a thoughtful and genuine look at the treatment of the old within modern society by looking at this one farmer in particular. Although extreme, I found it easy to understand his emotions and to relate to them, despite not having any frame of reference for this. The credit belongs to Runarsson for this because he made it so accessible and easy to engage with. The script is minimal but the development of the main character is well done without many words, to the point where we understand the man and who he is (independent, old fashioned, proud and certainly not someone who is ready to be lost into an easy place for the convenience of others).
This is matched by a solid and dignified central performance as well as beautiful cinematography which helps us visually make the contrast between his life and his fate in a nursing home. I'm sure some viewers will bemoan the simplicity of the message but to me they are being overly critical it is not rammed down our throat so much as it is just simply laid in front of us. Run through with pathos and emotion, it is a great little short film and worth seeing.
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