The Higher Force (image 1)

The film's tagline, 'Almost a Gangster Film', is sarcastically suitable because, until recently, there have been no real Icelandic gangsters.

Egill M. Arnarsson, Iceland Review

Screened as part of NZIFF 2009

The Higher Force 2008

Stóra planið

Directed by Olaf de Fleur Johannesson

From Iceland a shaggy dog tale of wannabe tough-guys. If you hear more hilariously mangled-English hard-man dialogue this year – deliberate or otherwise – we’d like to know about it.

Iceland / USA In English, Icelandic and Mandarin with English subtitles
80 minutes DigiBeta

Producers

Helgi Sverrisson
,
Olaf de Fleur Johannesson
,
Stefan Schaefer

Screenplay

Olaf de Fleur Johannesson
,
Stefan Schaefer
,
Thor Thorsteinsson

Photography

Rune Kippervik

Editors

Gunði Páll Sæmundsson
,
Olaf de Fleur Johannesson

Art director

Ása Björg Ingimarsdóttir

Costume designer

Thorunn Brandsdóttir

Sound

Gunnar Arnason

With

Pétur Jóhann Sigfússon (David)
,
Eggert Thorleifsson (Harald)
,
Stefan Schaefer (Wolfi)
,
Ingvar E. Sigurðsson (Magnus)
,
Benedikt Erlingsson (Snati)
,
Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir (Julia)
,
Michael Imperioli (Alexander)

Festivals

Rotterdam 2009

Elsewhere

David is a loser; no ‘Higher Force’ kung fu philosophy video can change that. He's followed its wisdom ever since his little brother met with a sad fate, which has haunted David, you could even say stunted his mental growth. Some things you never get over, especially in Iceland. David's martial arts smarts should make him a star with his crew, because they're drongos too and possibly even more delusional. But, a total dud as tough-guy debt collector, he's excluded from their big-time Mafia schemes. Then comes Harald: in his new landlord, David recognises the return of his brother's nemesis and a chance to get some respect. You seriously doubt it's ever going to happen, but the pleasure of this Nordic shaggy dog tale is in the timing and a coolly uncool wit any self-deprecating Kiwi can relate to. And if you hear more hilariously mangled-English hard-man dialogue this year – deliberate or otherwise – we'd like to know about it. — SR/BG