The Sea (Iceland)
Directed: Baltasar Kormakur (Iceland)
Starring: Gunnar Eyjolfsson, Helene De Fougerolles, Hilmir Snaer Gudnason, Kristbjorg Kjeld
By Todd Bunker
Something strange happens to people when they live in tiny, isolated groups – anyone who’s lived in a small farming, logging or fishing town can tell you that.
The Sea follows the story of the estranged son of a (relatively) wealthy cannery owner from a small fishing town in Iceland, who is called back there by his father for reasons unknown to him. With his French girlfriend in tow, he reluctantly returns to a town teetering between carrying on traditional ways and moving into the modern world of environmental quotas and multi-national fishing corporations.
Set in the desolate and windswept landscape of rural Iceland, the movie reveals the unseemly side of human nature that often lurks under the thin veneer of such bucolic settings.
At once a study on the modernization of the few remaining isolated places left on Earth, and the complicated and often violent power-struggle between family members, The Sea probes people’s inclination to burn down everything they’ve built around them, and why sometimes that’s not such a bad idea. – (7/10)