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The Garden
18+ (exemption)
Director: Ragnar Bragason
Cast: Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir, Sigrún Edda Björnsdóttir, Eyþór Gunnlaugsson, Karolina Gruszka
2020 | 112 min | Comedy, Drama | Iceland | Icelandic with English subtitles

A dark comedy of self-reflection directed by Ragnar Bragason (Metalhead) and based on his eponymous play, The Garden delves into xenophobia in Iceland.

Indíana Jónsdóttir lives in a large apartment block full of immigrants, whom she despises, and makes her living by gaming the public welfare system. A cantankerous woman, Indíana accuses immigrants of scrounging off the Icelandic state and of taking over the country. In her small private garden, she spends her time tending to her award-winning laburnum tree. When her only son Jonas turns up with his new Polish girlfriend, Indíana’s world of prejudice is upended. Meanwhile, there is a mandate to remove all non-native flora, including her precious tree.

Reprising their stage roles, Sigrún Edda Björnsdóttir (Trapped) plays the tree-loving Indíana, Hallgrímur Ólafsson is her son Unnar and the acclaimed Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir (Woman at War) is Indíana’s neighbour, Johanna.

A complex psychological drama about how a dominant matriarch can ruin the lives of the ones she loves, The Garden offers a nuanced portrayal of human nature, from one of Iceland’s most exciting directors.

A must-see.
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