Woman at War

by Benedikt Erlingsson

Halla declares a one-woman-war on the local aluminium industry. She is prepared to risk everything to protect the pristine Icelandic. Highlands she loves… Until an orphan unexpectedly enters her life.

Halla is a fifty-year-old independent woman. But behind the scenes of a quiet routine, she leads a double life as a passionate environmental activist. Known to others only by her alias “The Woman of the Mountain,” Halla secretly wages a one-woman-war on the local aluminium industry. As Halla's actions grow bolder, from petty vandalism to outright industrial sabotage, she succeeds in pausing the negotiations between the Icelandic government and the corporation building a new aluminium smelter in the mountains. But right as she begins planning her biggest and boldest operation yet, she receives an unexpected letter that changes everything. Her application to adopt a child has finally been accepted and there is a little girl waiting for her in Ukraine. As Halla prepares to abandon her role as saboteur and saviour of the Highlands to fulfil her dream of becoming a mother, she decides to plot one final attack to deal the aluminium industry a crippling blow.

Genre / Language / Length
Comedy / Icelandic / 100 minutes
Original title
Woman at War
directed by
Benedikt Erlingsson (OF HORSES AND MEN)
produced by
SLOT MACHINE and GULLDRENGURINN in co-production with Solar Media Entertainment, KÖGGULL SF and Vintage Pictures
  • Halldóra Geirharõsdóttir (OF HORSES AND MEN)
  • Davíõ Þór Jónsson
  • Ómar Guõjónsson
  • Jóhann Sigurõsson

Press Quotes

“Is there anything rarer than an intelligent feel-good film that knows how to tackle urgent global issues with humor as well as a satisfying sense of justice? Look no further than ‘Woman at War.'”
“Bound to be one of the hot sellers at this year's Cannes, the film is likely to do bang-up business worldwide.”
“Erlingsson's genius lies in how he puts it all together with such witty intelligence, arranging beautifully shot picaresque episodes around a central figure who lives the ideals of the heroes she has hanging on her wall, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.”

"An impressive follow-up to his strikingly eccentric debut, Of Horses and Men, Icelandic auteur Benedikt Erlingsson's second feature-length fiction, Woman at War
Kona fer i strid

, is another skillfully crafted, surreally told tale of man and nature — or in this case, woman and autre — but one with more emotional depth and sharper political undertones."
"Moments of deadpan humor and visual bliss."

"It is confidently and rather stylishly made, with the same eccentric poise that distinguished his equine success, and the same sweeping sense of landscape. "Carried by a magnetic performance from Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir in a dual role, Benedikt Erlingsson's enjoyable follow up to Of Horses And Men is elevated by wryly idiosyncratic flourishes in its execution."

"Given the relative paucity of films which feature complex middle-aged female characters — particularly female characters who blow up electricity pylons — it could find a warm reception theatrically, skewing towards, but not exclusively, a female audience."

"Nothing if not a brilliant confirmation of the Icelandic director's gift for mise-en-scène and intelligent humor."
"Perfectly employing his country's natural setting, Benedikt Erlingsson shapes a breathless, physical and brilliantly-structured film."

Selected Festivals & Awards

Haugesund - The Norwegian International Film Festival
Critic's Week (Semaine de la Critique)
Sydney Film Festival
La Rochelle International Film Festival
Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival
Odessa International Film Festival
New Zealand International Film Festival
Melbourne International Film Festival
24th Sarajevo Film Festival
Haugesund Norwegian International Film Festival
Haugesund International Film Festival
SANFIC - Santiago International Film Festival
Toronto International Film Festival
Helsinki International Film Festival Love&Anarchy
Haifa International Film Festival | Special Mention | awarded
International Cinematographers' Film Festival "Manaki Brothers" in Macedonia
Bergen International Film Festival
Film Festival Hamburg
Reykjavik International Film Festival
41st Mill Valley Film Festival
Hamptons International Film Festival
BUSAN International Film Festival
BFI London Film Festival
Chicago International Film Festival
Mostra Sao Paulo International Film Festival
Valladolid International Film Festival
International Film Festival Morelia
Mumbai Film Festival
MAMI Mumbai Film Festival
Thessaloniki International Film Festival
Ljubljana International Film Festival
Seville European Film Festival | Audience Award | awarded
Camerimage - International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography
International Film Festival of India in Goa
Cairo International Film Festival
International Film Festival of Kerala
Palm Springs International Film Festival
42nd Göteborg International Film Festival
Fajr International Film Festival in Teheran
New Horizons Film Festival