A White, White Day: BRWC LFF Review. After the untimely death of his wife, the police chief of a remote Icelandic town begins to suspect that she was having an affair. Through supressed emotions and stifling obsession, Ingimundur (Ingvar Sigurdsson) investigates the life of the woman he thought he knew through the lens of the family and friends who knew her.
Thematically, writer/ director Hlynur Palmason’s second feature delves into man’s generational failure to reconcile his emotions. A repressive, destructive act that scuppers emotional healing by attempting to circumvent the process.
Ingimundur goes about his new life and routine without talking about his loss or his profound sense of internal strife. It’s as though he uses his time with his granddaughter as a shield from the pain he feels. He builds a home for his loved ones but doesn’t see himself living within it. He busies himself, pushing harder and further because stopping would mean having to acknowledge what has happened.
Ingvar Sigurdsson portrays the grieving widower with subtlety, which harmoniously resonates with his inability to open up. He’s a man shackled by stoicism. Who feels his answers lie in discovering new facets to his lost love. It’s only through his relationship with his granddaughter, Salka (the refreshingly spirited Ída Mekkin Hlynsdóttir) that we see some semblance of the man Ingimundur once was.
Maria von Hausswolff’s cinematography captures the sparse landscapes and winding roads that comprise Ingimundur’s home. There’s a sense that everything slopes and leads to the river, which in turn feeds into the sea. The river where Ingimundur lost his wife, the tears he is either unable or refuses to shed. It all leads outward toward an end point.
A white fog blankets the land and obscures the view of both the road travelled and the river below. It is only as Ingimundur journeys into darkness that he begins to fully realise the world around him.
There’s a great deal to absorb in A White, White Day. It’s quiet, it’s mournful but not without brief moments of levity and hope. The one-two dynamic of Ingimundur and Salka shines bright in the mist, while the effective use of visual themes allow for certain moments to cling to memory. I very much appreciated my time with Palmason’s film and will most certainly be attempting to source his debut feature, Winter Brothers (2017).
The film is due for release in UK cinemas on May 1st
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