Iceland is famous for its hot springs, but few people appreciate how significant the role of hot water is in the country. This island nation with roughly 330,000 inhabitants has 125 public outdoor swimming pools, and most of these include a hot tub. Harpa Fönn Sigurjónsdóttir’s sympathetic The Hot Tub (2015) tells the story of a group of elderly gentlemen, connected by one of such tubs, and the film is also the only documentary in this Iceland-themed screening.
Certain kind of isolation also springs to mind when thinking about Iceland. After all, the island does sit in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and its nearest neighbour, Norway, is almost 1500 kilometres away. This spells trouble for Icelandic smokers when the dock workers go on strike. Vera Sölvadóttir’s hilarious fiction In Search of Livingstone (2014) is a tale of two men’s great chase for cigarettes.
The screening also includes fictions about girls and women during different stages of life. Ása Hjörleifsdóttir’s You and Me (2015) describes the symbiotic relationship between a single mother, Marianne, and her daughter. In the film, the roles of mother and daughter can become reversed when necessary. Eva Sigurdardottir’s Rainbow Party (2015), on the other hand, deals with the teenage pressure to belong and how it makes Soffia forget about her conscience and principles.