If this film had not been released one year before Haneke’s prize-winning “Amour”, everyone would have accused young Icelandic filmmaker RunarRunarsson of plagiarism. It is of course not the case but it is still remarkable to notice the similarity between the two films. The Icelandic one does not deal with intellectual aristocrats, for its main character is a school intendent in a small provincial town, a strict and unbending character, feared and respected by the students and their parents as well, who is about to retire after holding for 37 years a job he regarded as a calling. Married, he is the father of a son and a daughter, both highly critical of the way he treats their mother. That is, until his wife suffers a stroke that leaves her paralyzed in a coma, and then everyone is shocked to find out that the rough and tough old man, instead of following his children’s advice and putting her into a nursing home, decides to take his wife home, once there is nothing more the hospital can do for her, and take care of her every need, 24 hours a day. Up to the point when even he cannot stand the heart-breaking sounds coming out of her unconscious suffering body, deprived of any means to express itself in any way.
Runar Runarsson – studied film in Denmark between the years 2005-9 and started making short films as studies for the features that would come later. Volcano (2011) told the story of an old man who had grown apart from his children, but once retired, after his wife gets sick, he tries to reconnect with them and atone for his past coldness. For his second film, he chose to deal with the perspective of a young generation, always underlining that he tries to tell stories that are true not only in Iceland but everywhere else as well.