Rúnar Rúnarsson’s Volcano may be the most important debut feature to come from Iceland since Dagur Kári’s Noi the Albino – though it would be hard to imagine a film more different in tone. Whereas Noi was fuelled by an absurdist sense of humour, Volcano is far closer in spirit to Italian neorealism or Maurice Pialat, focusing on the quotidian and the seemingly tiny actions that carry enormous import. Beginning with archival footage of the eruption of a volcano – a catastrophe that uprooted a large portion of Iceland’s rural population and forced the film’s dogged protagonist, Hannes, and his wife Anna to move to Reykjavik – the film then cuts to Hannes’ sparsely attended retirement party. He’s spent the intervening four decades working as the caretaker at an elementary school, where he earned a reputation as the resident curmudgeon. He advises his replacement, “You need to be strict from the start... It’s a must that they fear you.” Unable to cope with his newfound freedom, he berates his children, grandson and wife. But when Anna suddenly falls ill, Hannes is forced to care for her. Little by little, the experience awakens something long dormant within him. A mature and emotionally devastating film directed with extraordinary sensitivity, Volcano is a profoundly humanist work.
Danimarka İzlanda

Runar Rúnarsson

Sophia Olsson

Jacob Schulsinger

Zik Zak Filmworks

Elma Lísa Gunnarsdóttir
Margrét Helga Jóhannsdóttir
Theódór Júlíusson

Kjartan Sveinsson

AQCC Critics Award Montreal
Best Director Transilvania
Golden Wolf
Silver Hugo Chicago

17th Festival on Wheels