Hlynur Palmason (director)
03 July 2020 (released)
05 July 2020
A White, White Day is one of those films that has to be admired but somewhat fails to actually engage on the emotional level that the story requires.
The film begins with a car driving through a blinding blizzard that ends in crash. It’s a stunning opening that sets the tone for the film that has bereavement at its heart, coming to terms with it as secrets come to light.
Ingimunder (Ingvar Sigurdsson) is recently bereaved and through stills of the house over the seasons the viewer is taken through his efforts to rebuild his life through the reconstruction of the house. This while having therapy and holding down his job with the police. However the pain is deep and he’s become isolated mentally and physically. He has his family but it’s his granddaughter Salka (Ída Mekkín Hlynsdóttir) who at her tender age of eight is very much a free spirit and the heartbeat of the film.
Adding to his grief is the suspicion that his wife was having an affair which begins to obsess him as he tries to find out the truth and question why, almost to the destruction of his life and those around him.
As writer and director Hlynur Palmason has created something of a puzzle with White. White Day. Technically flawless it conveys the grief of Ingimunder through the visuals and the Icelandic rural landscapes which are both stunning and disturbing. However its difficult to have much sympathy for Ingimunder and its debatable if that is what he was trying to do, maybe just trying to get the viewer to understand, and on that level he’s successful.
Ingimunder is understandably grieving but he’s a morose man prone to violence and almost totally closed to advice from family and friend. This is etched all over Sigurdsson’s face who gives an excellent performance of a man seemingly introverting and descending to a place where he is incapable of rational thought and from where there’s possibly no return.
A White, White Day is available on digital platforms now.