The Aurora Film Society brings “Woman At War” to the screen at the Aurora Regional Fire Museum on January 5th (due to inclemate weather on December 23rd) at 7pm.
A thoughtful and dynamic blend of genres, Benedikt Erlingsson’s contemporary environmental fable “Woman At War” continually thrills with a side of laughs. In its most endearing moments, Erlingsson’s idiosyncratic sophomore feature is as rebellious and confident as the main heroine it follows through vast and damp Icelandic landscapes. She is Halla (the defiant Halldora Geirhardsdottir, excelling in a physically demanding role), a beloved, single choir director in her early fifties, living a secret double-life as a green activist when no one is looking. Cutting power lines to sabotage a local aluminum plant in her spare time, Halla mostly operates alone in her heroic yet elaborate quests. In the film’s breathtaking opening sequence, shot and edited in the heart-pounding tradition of cat-and-mouse thrillers (by Bergsteinn Bjorgulfsson and David Alixander Corno respectively), she runs from helicopters and drones, hides in natural cracks of the earth and finds refuge in the home of a local greenhouse farmer (Jón Jóhannsson), who lends her a runaway vehicle and becomes her unofficial accomplice.