Woman at War

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Woman at War
Woman at War.png
Film poster
Directed byBenedikt Erlingsson
Written by
  • Benedikt Erlingsson
  • Ólafur Egill Egilsson
Produced by
  • Benedikt Erlingsson
  • Carine Leblanc
  • Marianne Slot
CinematographyBergsteinn Björgúlfsson
Edited byDavíð Alexander Corno
Music byDavíð Þór Jónsson
Release dates
Running time
101 minutes
  • Iceland
  • France
  • Ukraine
  • Icelandic
  • Spanish
  • English
  • Ukrainian
Budget$2.9 million
Box office$4.1 million[1][2]

Woman at War (Kona fer í stríð, literally Woman goes to battle) is a 2018 Icelandic-Ukrainian comedy-drama film written, produced and directed by Benedikt Erlingsson, and starring Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir.

Following a premiere at 2018 Cannes Film Festival via the International Critics' Week, it was released on 22 May 2018 to critical acclaim and selected as the Icelandic entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards ceremony, but it was not nominated.[3][4][5]


Halla, a choir conductor and eco-activist, plans to disrupt the operations of a Rio Tinto aluminium plant in the Icelandic highlands, purposely damaging electricity pylons and wires to cut their power supply.

One day, a long-forgotten application to adopt an orphan child from Ukraine is approved. At the same time, the government ramps up police and propaganda efforts in order to catch and discredit her. The film revolves around her attempts to reconcile her dangerous and illegal activism with the upcoming adoption.[6][7] All the while, the film's soundtrack players, consisting of a three-man band and Ukrainian traditional singers, interacts with the plot and characters.[8][9]


Galyna Goncharenko, Susanna Karpenko & Iryna Danyleiko plays the trio of Ukrainian singers. The band is played by Magnús Trygvason Eliassen (drummer), Omar Gudjonsson (sousaphonist) and Davíð Þór Jónsson (accordion & pianist).


Woman at War was shown at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, in the International Critics' Week section, where the screenwriters won the SACD award.[10] The film won the Nordic Council Film Prize[11] and the Lux prize award of the European Parliament for 2018.[12][failed verification]

It also was voted the audience award at the Tromsø International Film Festival in Norway in January 2019.[13]


Peter Bradshaw, for The Guardian, praised Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir's "attractive and sympathetic performance" as Halla, and called it a "well-turned, well-tuned" film that was "confidently and rather stylishly made".[6]

Jay Weissberg, for Variety, called the film "a delightful follow-up to Of Horses and Men", and praised the director for "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".[7]


On 11 December 2018, it was announced that Jodie Foster was to direct and star in an English remake.[14][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kona fer í stríð (Woman at War)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Kona fer í stríð (Woman at War)". The Numbers. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Фильм, которым можно гордиться: украинскую киноленту выдвинули на Оскар". Politeka. 20 September 2018. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  4. ^ Kozlov, Vladimir (20 September 2018). "Oscars: Iceland Selects 'Woman at War' for Foreign-Language Category". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  5. ^ Abbatescianni, Davide (21 September 2018). "The Guilty enters the Oscars race for Denmark, Woman at War for Iceland". Cineuropa. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Woman at War review – pylon-slayer faces adoption challenge in quirky Icelandic eco-drama". TheGuardian.com. 12 May 2018.
  7. ^ a b Weissberg, Jay (13 May 2018). "Cannes Film Review: 'Woman at War'". Variety.
  8. ^ Turan, Kenneth (28 February 2019). "Review: 'Woman at War' is wall-to-wall wacky, and wonderful". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  9. ^ "Davíð Þór Jónsson - Harpa nominated 2019 for his score for Benedikt Erlingsson Woman at war / Kona fer í stríð". Nordic Film Music Days.
  10. ^ "Diamantino comes out on top in the Cannes Critics' Week". Cineuropa. 16 May 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  11. ^ "Nordic Council Film Prize - Winners and Nominees 2018". nordiskfilmogtvfond.com. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Home". luxprize.eu.
  13. ^ "Tromsø Audience Award". Archived from the original on 8 April 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  14. ^ Geoff Boucher (11 December 2018). "'Woman At War': Jodie Foster To Direct & Star In English Version Of Iceland's Oscar Entry". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  15. ^ Birgir Olgeirsson (11 December 2018). "Ég get ekki beðið eftir að leika Höllu". Vísir.is (in Icelandic). Retrieved 11 December 2018.

External links[edit]