7.4/10
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Woman at War (2018)

Kona fer í stríð (original title)
Not Rated | | Adventure, Comedy, Drama | 22 May 2018 (Iceland)
Trailer
1:54 | Trailer
Halla becomes a determined environmental activist, but this threatens a long-held hope of hers.

Writers:

Benedikt Erlingsson, Ólafur Egilsson (as Ólafur Egill Egilsson)
28 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir ... Halla / Ása
Jóhann Sigurðarson Jóhann Sigurðarson ... Sveinbjörn
Juan Camillo Roman Estrada Juan Camillo Roman Estrada ... Juan Camillo
Jörundur Ragnarsson ... Baldvin
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sólveig Arnarsdóttir Sólveig Arnarsdóttir ... Mother of Sirrý
Gunnar Bersi Björnsson ... President's Bodyguard
Helga Braga Jónsdóttir Helga Braga Jónsdóttir ... Prison guard
Charlotte Bøving Charlotte Bøving ... Woman at adoption agency
Iryna Danyleiko Iryna Danyleiko ... Ukrainian choir singer
Vala Kristin Eiriksdottir ... Stefania
Magnús Trygvason Eliassen Magnús Trygvason Eliassen ... Drummer
Saga Garðarsdóttir ... Police officer 1
Jón Gnarr ... President of the Republic of Iceland
Galyna Goncharenko Galyna Goncharenko ... Ukrainian choir singer
Omar Gudjonsson Omar Gudjonsson ... Sousaphone player
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Storyline

Halla, a woman in her forties, declares war on the local aluminum industry to prevent it from disfiguring her country. She risks all she has to protect the highlands of Iceland-but the situation could change with the unexpected arrival of a small orphan in her life. Written by Hugo Van Herpe

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Halla is a choir teacher. She's also a saboteur.


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

French visa # 144354. See more »

Goofs

When introducing herself to Nika, Halla states her real name. However, at that point she has switched identities with her sister and should really introduce herself as Åsa. See more »

Quotes

Ása: You don't need anyone else. You know that you can do it. You're the mom and nothing will stop you.
[stands up from the bench and faces Halla]
Ása: What did mom always say?
Halla: Yeah.
Ása: Yes, say it.
Halla: Moms can do anything.
Ása: [laughs] No, the other thing.
Halla: Find solutions.
Ása: Exactly.
See more »

User Reviews

 
A total pleasure to watch: engaging, serious, eccentric, and fun.
21 April 2019 | by gcsmanSee all my reviews

Halla (played by Halldora Geirhardsdottir), a middle-aged Icelandic woman leading a seemingly ordinary life, is secretly a fierce eco-warrior. Staying completely off the radar, she conducts lone daring missions of sabotage against a big industrial plant that is endangering the environment of her region and her entire country. Her weapons of choice are small-scale explosives, and bow and arrows. The bare bones of this plot sound like just the sort of thing for a Hollywood action film, but Woman at War is stylistically so different, so NOT Hollywood that it inhabits practically a different universe. And it's all the better for that. We care about what's going on on the screen, and about the protagonist Halla, far more here than we ever would for things like Mission Impossible or Fast and Furious or the Bond films or a dozen other franchises like them which are basically just eye candy.

There actually aren't that many true 'action' scenes: most of the screen time is devoted to interactions among the relatively small cast of characters, and some slow-burn suspense. Will Halla keep successfully evading the authorities who are ramping up their search for the saboteur? After all, Iceland is a pretty small country. Her motivation for what she's doing also would not cut very deep unless we had a well rounded picture of her life and the deep connection of her fellow Icelanders with their own land. Her sister Asa (played by the same actress -- and the scenes where Asa and Halla are both on screen are seamlessly done) comes in and out of the story, as does cousin Sveinbjorn (Johann Sigurdarson), a farmer who helps Halla at critical moments. Halla is thrown a major curve when her hoped-for chance to adopt a little orphan girl from Eastern Europe come up suddenly: does she change the course of her life to take it, or let it go and continue her profoundly risky guerilla war? There are also genuinely surprising twists -- essentially bits of luck and timing -- that make us realize that every bit of the backstory and setup in the first half of the movie was put there for a reason.

There are loads of engaging details from beginning to end. In one scene Halla is being hunted by a police drone seeking for her in the countryside near the industrial plant. She shoots it down with her bow and arrow and then stomps it to pieces. (Who wouldn't like to do that with those annoying things, just once?) The oddest touch of all, though, has to do with the music. The edgy background music is played by a small band of musicians who are sometimes actually on screen, standing just to the side of the action -- on roadsides, on city streets, by airport parking lots. Their onscreen presence usually takes place at critical junction points in the story. This eccentric touch takes a further step into the truly surreal when at times Halla actually notices them (!) as if she has stepped outside her own role.

All in all, it's very much worth seeing. A whole lot of Hollywood studio suits who are only after your money could learn from far more genuine films like this one.


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Details

Country:

Iceland | France | Ukraine

Release Date:

22 May 2018 (Iceland) See more »

Also Known As:

Woman at War See more »

Filming Locations:

Iceland See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

EUR2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,370, 3 March 2019

Gross USA:

$847,495

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,471,158
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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