This moody Icelandic character study (2013) illustrates the subjective nature of grief and the self-destructive ways people handle loss. Set in the early 90s, the story centers on a teenage girl (Þorbjörg Helga Þorgilsdóttir) who sees her older brother die in a violent accident; devastated, she seeks solace in heavy metal and quickly adopts the lifestyle, hoping one day to leave her isolated farm town—an idyllic hillside village elegantly photographed by cinematographer August Jakobsson—and become a rock star. The metal milieu is unique and nicely drawn, but the film isn’t solely concerned with the subculture; themes of self-loathing and guilt foreground the action more than drum solos and guitar riffs, though writer-director Ragnar Bragason wisely utilizes the music’s dark tones and antireligious sentiment to contextualize his protagonist’s aggressive outbursts. In Icelandic with subtitles.
NR • 1 hour 37 min • 2013