Screened as part of NZIFF 2007

Children 2006


Directed by Ragnar Bragason

This tough, compelling Icelandic entry in this year's Oscars centres on a struggling single mother of four and the violent underworld enforcer who returns to Reykjavik to seek out their 12-year-old son.

Iceland In Icelandic with English subtitles
93 minutes 35mm / B&W



Ragnar Bragason and cast


Bergsteinn Björgúlfsson


Sverrir Kristjánsson


Pétur Tor Benediktsson


Gísli Örn Garðarsson
Ólafur Darri Ólafsson
Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir
Andri Snær Helgason


San Sebastián 2006; Rotterdam 2007


Inspired by Mike Leigh’s collaborative working methods, this gripping family drama by writer-director Ragnar Bragason was Iceland’s entry for the foreign-language category of this year’s Oscars. Karitas is a single mother of four who is struggling to make ends meet. Fighting a losing battle with her ex-husband for custody over her three daughters, she’s lost sight of her 12-year-old son Gudmund, a victim of brutal bullying at school and whose life is on the fast track to destruction. Gudmund’s only friend in the world is Marinó, a middle-aged schizophrenic who lives with his mother. When Marinó realizes that his mother has been secretly dating a stranger, his world collapses. Meanwhile, Gardar, a violent underworld enforcer who has been exiled by both the underworld and his family, decides to do something good for a change, and seeks out his son Gudmund – with devastating consequences.

“A dark and often unrelentingly violent look at a group of dysfunctional people in Reykjavik, Children makes tough but compelling viewing.” — Gunnar Rehlin, Variety