In a rustic valley in Iceland, people and horses have lived together for centuries. This stunningly staged collection of tales tall and true explores the curious, complicated bonds between the two species.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2014
As pungent as farmyard air, Of Horses and Men regales us with incredible tales of equine services to humanity, and, like any bar-room raconteur, insists they are all absolutely true. While applying a wry detachment to the all-too-credible fiascos of humanity in which horses are called on to contribute, director Benedikt Erlingsson exercises a fine eye for equine magnificence, and delivers sequences of joyous, racing, wild horse glory.
“Benedikt Erlingsson’s astonishing directorial debut weaves together a half dozen disparate stories involving beautiful horses and mostly unlucky humans in and near a modern Icelandic small town. It’s a horsey movie like no other, each surprising tale marked to various degrees by black comedy, cruel fate, very earthy humor, and hints of the fantastical. Nature being a harsh mistress, some events here are rather shocking or tragic – those who automatically despise any film in which animals come to harm (only in dramatic terms, of course) had best stay clear. But less delicate souls may well find this unique equine-themed mix of folk art and fable exhilaratingly original.” — Dennis Harvey, San Francisco Bay Guardian