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SNACK at The Glasgow Film Festival 2020

A White, White Day

Part of the festival’s Iceland Shining Northern Lights strand is this fantastic, haunting drama with heartache beating at its centre. It focuses on police officer Ingimundur (Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson) who is trying his best to carry on with life as best he can after the sudden death of his wife. But as he helps look after his beloved granddaughter Salka (endearing scene-stealer Ída Mekkín Hlynsdóttir), he begins to unravel as he tries to uncover the truth about his late wife’s faithfulness. With just his second feature, director Hlynur Pálmason shows a rare confidence to instill grounded everyday drama with a higher sense of pathos; showcasing an eye for striking imagery that lingers in the mind through flashbacks to give meaning to Ingrumundur’s increasingly-tormented state of coping, or shots of the foggy Icelandic landscape that both lend the film its name and cloak it in a certain imposing atmosphere. It’s also often laugh out loud funny, speaking to the true-to-life idea that finding humour in a situation doesn’t take away from the tragedy but instead is essential in helping to heal. It’s all anchored by Sigurðsson’s stunning central performance; his sense of deep-seated regret and grief is heartbreaking to watch.

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