Jar City

26 Mar 2021

This Week’s Recommendation: Jar City

Title: Jar City
Iceland, Germany & Denmark, 2006    
93 mins, language: Icelandic
Directed by Baltasar Kormákur

Jar City was 652nd film screened by RFS on 3rd November 2009. It was the fifth ranked film of Season 47, with an audience rating of 84%.

Jar City is based on one of a popular series of crime novels by Arnaldur Indriason. It is a gripping and intriguing thriller, set against the bleak Icelandic landscape.

The story starts with the discovery of the body of an elderly man murdered in his basement flat. Meanwhile, Orn mourns the four-year-old daughter who died from a rare congenital disease.

This dual narrative exerts a powerful and emotional grip, as Inspector Erlendur carries out his crime investigation. The discovery of a photograph seems to link the murder to a 30-year-old unsolved case involving a dead child, but when Erlendur tries to investigate further he runs into a wall of silence.

These seemingly disparate story lines gradually weave together with a slow, deliberate precision - although so entirely unrelated are the two strands that it's obvious that Orn must have some link to the dead man.

The director maintains an excellent pace, allowing the mystery to unravel naturally, while keeping us hooked as the various elements gradually link together.

Jar City is a uniquely Icelandic work -as dark and brooding as the long winter nights, it is infused with a sardonic northern humour, so understated that you almost miss it.

Full film notes available in the Twickenham & Richmond Tribune - http://twickenhamtribune.com
The film can be streamed from Amazon Prime and discs are available from Amazon and other retailers.

Presented by Richmond Film Society

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