Recommendation: 3/5 Stars, STREAM
Plot: “Halla becomes a determined environmental activist, but this threatens a long-held hope of hers.” -IMDB
Review: Civil disobedience, as made famous by Henry David Thoreau, is the refusal to comply with certain laws or to pay taxes and fines, as a peaceful form of political protest. “Woman at War” is not a story about peaceful protest. Some might say it is a story of one woman acting as an eco-terrorist hell-bent on destroying Iceland’s economy in a losing pursuit of saving the environment. Others might say her acts of vandalism are the final stand a concerned population can take. You will have to decide for yourself where you fall.
“Woman at War” is a disjointed tale of a woman hoping to be a mother and create a more sustainable future for her child. Disjointed is my way of describing this film because these themes are never tightly tied together. Going to great lengths to keep polluters out of the country she loves, Halla wages a one-woman war against big energy. She also directs a choir, hopes to adopt and strives to maintain a relationship with her sister. At times, it is difficult to see how all of these things relate to one another. It isn’t until Halla’s confession via a manifesto do we get our first glimpse at a motive.
Once the manifesto is released to the world, we get the sense that this mother is trying to ensure there is a future for the next generation. Like climate change, this is a drama that takes a while, but once it gets going there is no going back. You, as the audience member based on your political appetite, will have to decide how you feel about Halla’s antics. For me, this debate is the ultimate draw for this film. Some will see her as an antagonist and some will see her as a protagonist, but no one will be able to doubt her motives.
As the film draws to its conclusion, there is a lovely twist of mistaken identities. This is absolutely the best part of this film. For all its efforts, “Woman at War,” does drive home its point that something needs to be about the oncoming climate catastrophe. It forces you to leave the theater questioning what more could be done to ensure a future for the next generation.
Be good to each other,
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