Films: Polite People

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Polite People  {Kurteist fólk}

Polite People
Kurteist fólk

Iceland, 2011, 90 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Comedy, Drama, Political
Program: Contemporary World Cinema
Language: Icelandic English Subtitles

DIRECTOR: Olaf de Fleur
Producer: Jóhann G. Jóhannsson, Kristin Andrea Thordardottir, Gudni Pall Saemundsson, Olaf de Fleur
Editor: Olaf de Fleur, Sigurður Eyþórsson, Sigurbjorg Jonsdottir, Benedikt Johannesson
Screenwriter: Olaf de Fleur, Hrafnkell Stefansson
Cinematographer: Bjarni Felix Bjarnason
Principal Cast: Stefán Karl Stefánsson, Ágústa Eva Erlendsdóttir, Hilmir Snær Guðnason, Eggert Þorleifsson, Ragnhildur Steinunn Jónsdóttir

Engineer Larus makes for a quirky version of Job in this sweet fable/farce, filmed by director Olaf de Fleur in his hometown. Larus’s father is dying, his estranged mother sings drunken lullabies to him over the phone, and his wife has taken up with his boss, an emotionally impervious jerk who blithely fires him once Larus confronts them about their indiscretions.

He flees Reykjavik for the Icelandic hinterlands in a bid to reconstruct his life by resurrecting a slaughterhouse that could revive a tiny town’s economy. He lies his way into the project, but what seems like a great cause that could set his life in order instead lands him in a hotbed of small-town gossip, politics and bed-hopping. His primary partner is the town’s larcenous mayor, eager to prove his clout, while his nemesis is a womanizer who at first seems to see right through Larus. Throw in other kooky characters—a nymphomaniac banker, a teacher pining for rock-and-roll roll stardom, a Barbie clone, and a gaggle of sheep farmers who keep telling Larus to shut up—and you have the makings of both a disaster and a redemption. Ultimately, the crazy parents Larus rejected so many years ago hold the key to his success.

De Fleur (City State; The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela) is an alumnus of the Berlinale Talent Campus, the Berlin Film Festival’s creative academy for up-and-coming filmmakers.


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