Shepherds Maria and Ingvar live on a remote farm in Iceland. Every day, they quietly tend to their flock of sheep then sip coffee while enjoying the kitchen fill with the lively sounds of a Reykjavik radio station. After a ewe gives birth, their monotonous relationship suddenly changes. The pair are filled with a speechless confusion and hope: who is this newcomer?
Valdimar Jóhannsson’s first feature film weaves together Scandinavian folklore, genre and the restraint of contemporary social cinema. Swedish actress Noomi Rapace (Lisbeth Salander from the Millennium series) and one of Iceland’s best-known actors, Hilmir Snaer Gudnason, inhabit this mythical yet realistic world. Co-writer novelist Sjón’s influence can be felt as he has added touches of his characteristically ironic wryness to the script – the way the two quiet hermits interact with nature is more powerful than anything else. Among other accomplishments, Sjón wrote the lyrics for Lars von Trier’s Oscar-nominated film Dancer in the Dark (2000).