Woman at War

Woman at War Last night, the Charlotte Film Society screened a fascinating movie titled Woman at War. It’s the tale of a music and yoga teacher who’s determined to sabotage an aluminum plant in the Icelandic wilderness.

Halla, the protag, wages war against a noisy, smelly, and sprawling collection of gritty metal cubes and towers unnaturally plopped onto the mystical Icelandic grassland. Add in the aromatic hydrocarbons and mutagens the plant belches out, and it’s easy to understand why a person who cherishes nature would take up arms against such a monstrosity. Business leaders and the government see the plant as an economic blessing; Halla sees one of William Blake’s dark Satanic mills.

Despite the film’s issue-packed premise, it doesn’t preach. Halla ranges the Icelandic grassland like Artemis with her bow, fulfilling her self-appointed role as the modern-day protector of nature. As is appropriate for a Greek goddess stand-in, she’s followed by a chorus that not only reflects her emotional reactions, but also provides comic relief.

The film is much more than a plea for clean air. Nearly surrounded by the police, Halla is rescued by a gruff farmer who becomes her accomplice. The two quickly realize they’re most likely related. So the movie’s primary conflict is between those with deep ties to their land and foreign investors who care only for the raw materials the land can produce. It’s the local and ancestral versus the global and rootless.

Woman at War was a hit at the Cannes Film Festival but failed to snag an Academy Award. If it comes to a local art cinema, check it out. It’s a hidden gem that deserves a wider audience.

11 thoughts on “Woman at War”

  1. This film ‘ Wonen at War ‘ sounds quite fascinating and I would see it given a chance. The setting is quite eerie already and with mystic added it must get hold on you.
    Your words ” It’s the local and ancestral versus the global and rootless ” are perfect.


    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ll watch for this one, Mike, and suggest two more. “A Private War” and “Ladies in Black.” Both are 2018 films, both focused on women, both seen on a long plane ride this week. The former is incredible for cinematography around a “woman IN war (zones);” the latter tells a story with heart the way that Aussie films always do.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Will have to watch for it. We have a place in town that might show it. What I always find interesting is some of the best movies and books out there are those that never really hit public awareness through mass advertising and such.

    Liked by 3 people

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