Vanskabte Land / Volaða Land

Directed by Hlynur Pálmason
Denmark, Iceland, France, Sweden | 143 min | 2022 | Drama | Danish, Icelandic

In the late 19th century, a young Danish priest travels to a remote part of Iceland to build a church and photograph its people. But the deeper he goes into the unforgiving landscape, the more he strays from his purpose, the mission and morality.


Director: Hlynur Pálmason
Screenplay: Hlynur Pálmason
Cinematography: Maria von Hausswolff
Editing: Julius Krebs Damsbo
Production Design: Frosti Friðriksson
Sound Design: Björn Viktorsson & Kristian Eidnes Andersen


Elliott Crosset Hove – Lucas
Ingvar Sigurðsson
Vic Carmen Sonne
Jacob Hauberg Lohmann
Ída Mekkín Hlynsdóttir
Waage Sandø
Hilmar Guðjónsson

Production Company: Snowglobe
Co-production Companies: Join Motion Pictures, Maneki Films, Garagefilm International, Film I Väst
With support of: Danish Film Institute, Icelandic Film Centre, CNC / Aide aux cinémas du monde, Swedish Film Institute, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, Creative Europe – MEDIA, Hornafjörður Municipality, SASS, DR, RÚV, Sena, Scanbox

Official Entry: Iceland – Best International Feature Film | 96th Academy Awards®

  • Hlynur Pálmason
    Hlynur Pálmason

Festivals & Awards

  • Cannes 2022 Official Selection – Un Certain Regard
  • Sydney Film Festival 2022
  • Filmfest München 2022
  • Transilvania International Film Festival 2022
  • Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2022
  • New Horizons International Film Festival 2022
  • San Sebastián International Film Festival 2022
  • Telluride Film Festival
  • Chicago International Film Festival (Winner Gold Hugo Best Film, Best Cinematography Award)

press quotes

Visually striking (…) takes the country’s colonialist past as its subject, pitting a late-19th-century man of faith against a force far stronger than him, like some kind of Arctic, art-house “There Will Be Blood.” (…) A cinematic original whose voice grows stronger and more certain with each film.

Peter Debruge, Variety

An engrossing account of a voyage to the dark side of permanent daylight. (…) An accomplished, ambitious work which has a Herzogian fascination with vast, unforgiving landscapes, hubris and madness. – Wendy Ide, Screen Daily

Exceptionally rewarding.

Elena Lazic, The Playlist

A rich and rewarding epic that evokes some ft he greats in cinema history without becoming derivative, feeling totally ist own beast.

 Marc van de Klashorst, Internation Cinephile Society

A spectacular, visceral and epic film (…) A work of very high artistic level, looking in-depth at the crushing link between the millennial powers of nature and the gaping moral faults that are revealed when humans are pushed to their limits. This film confirms the gradual rise in quality of world cinema by a very talented director.

Fabien Lemercier, Cineuropa

Hlynur Pálmason

Hlynur Pálmason is an artist / filmmaker born in 1984 in Iceland. He started out as a visual artist and continued his career in filmmaking by pursuing education at the Danish National Film School. His graduation film, A PAINTER (2013), won best short film at Odense IFF, Reykjavík IFF and was nominated for The Danish Film Academy. His latest short film, SEVEN BOATS (2014) premiered at Toronto IFF. His debut film WINTER BROTHERS will premiere in the main competition in Locarno in 2017. Hlynur lives in Copenhagen with his fiancé and three children and is currently working on his second feature, A WHITE, WHITE DAY, parallel with exhibiting art work and video installations.

2019 A White, White Day
2017 Winter Brothers, feature
2014 Seven Boats, short
2013 En Maler / A Painter, short
2012 En Dag Eller To / A Day Or Two, short