Framing Godland | Video Essay

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What happens to culture, language and truth when the coloniser is allowed to shape history? This is the central conceit of Hlynur Pálmason’s visually arresting new film. We peer beyond the frame to investigate these ideas permeating the magnificent Godland.

GODLAND is available to watch in Cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema Now:

Lutheran priest Lucas (Elliott Crosset Hove) has been assigned by the Church of Denmark to establish a parish in the barren wilds of Iceland. A foolhardy soul, he decides to take an arduous cross-country route, much to the annoyance of his guide and soon-to-be neighbour Ragnar (Ingvar Sigurðsson), who even has to drag him to their destination when the priest falls from his horse. Undeterred, Lucas begins his work, but finds the locals less than receptive to his spiritual advances. All the while, Lucas remains both in awe of and unsettled by the beauty and indifference of the natural world. Just as he understands language to be a barrier between him and his potential congregation, so Lucas sees the landscape as a wildness he must tame.