Woman at War

In Cinemas Now

On the high lands of Iceland, a middle-aged woman declares war against the aluminium industry disfiguring the country in this thriller from the director of Of Horses and Men.

"50 year-old Halla lives in the beautiful Icelandic Highlands. The warm-hearted choir leader also leads a secret life as a passionate hardcore environmental activist. Armed with her bow and arrow, deftly wielded, Halla sabotages the industry that she feels threatens her beloved landscape. As she embarks on her boldest sabotage plan yet, the stakes are raised when she finds out that she is on the verge of realising a long-cherished dream to adopt a child." (Sydney Film Festival)


Directed by

Action, Thriller, World Cinema, Festival & Independent


Rating: PG

Icelandic with English subtitles

France, Iceland, Ukraine

While a little unnecessarily whimsical at times, Woman At War is a beautiful portrait of a woman holding tight to hope. Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir plays protagonist Halla, an environmentalist on the cusp of fifty who spends her time teaching choir and sabotaging the local Icelandic aluminium industry. Halla’s dedication to mischievous, anonymous ecoterrorism is called into question when she finds out the adoption application she submitted years ago has finally been granted.

It’s an interesting question posed by this film; the risk motherhood might have on a protestor’s propensity for illegal activism. Is it better to make a small impact on a global issue, or a major impact in the life of one child?

Geirharðsdóttir is fantastic as Halla, and also plays Halla’s twin sister Ása, a bohemian artist and yogi. The actress is gently charming, and embodies both roles with ferocity and kindness in equal measure. The landscapes of Iceland, too, are beautifully captured in this film. The absurdist tone and eccentric running gags—a three-piece band that follows Halla through the countryside, a jinxed tourist repeatedly blamed for Halla’s crimes—at times take away from Halla’s journey, but never her magnetism.

A film that tackles environmental anxieties with complexity and care, Woman At War is a film for our times.

Hollywood Reporter


Offbeat, poignant and visually exquisite.

The Guardian


What Woman at War has above all is a terrific premise; and by that token, a terrific opening scene.

Variety (USA)


Is there anything rarer than an intelligent feel-good film that knows how to tackle urgent global issues with humour as well as a satisfying sense of justice?

Screen International


Elevated by wryly idiosyncratic flourishes in its execution.

FilmInk (Australia)


A joyous and warm-hearted comedy drama taking on essential contemporary issues.

Los Angeles Times


Not to get all alliterative about it, but "Woman at War" is something wonderful.

New York Times


Approaching weighty themes with a very light touch, Benedikt Erlingsson's "Woman at War" is an environmental drama wrapped in whimsical comedy and tied with a bow of midlife soul-searching.

NZ Herald (Francesca Rudkin)


Halla is the very opposite of the prevailing Marvel and DC comic hero, but it's hard to resist a middle-aged heroine running around the Icelandic countryside with a bow and arrow and dressed in a knitted jumper. Just delightful.

Stuff.co.nz (Graeme Tuckett)


This is a warm, witty, wise and absolutely endearing oddity of a film I will always remember fondly and recommend to anyone who appreciates a bit of quirk and character in their movies.



It’s Iceland, it’s a strong beautiful older female lead, it’s knitwear AND it’s so very good

I hope they make many many more movies. takk