Let go of anger.

After the mother that abandoned her and her sister some 30 years earlier returns, renowned Icelandic chef, Brynja (Laufey Elíasdóttir) takes a break from her life by checking into a quaint little village of tiny houses to get her head back on straight. It’s in this cozy little town that she meets Mark (Tim Plester) a British paper salesman who is on his own journey following the suicide of his only son two years earlier.

Brynja and Mark get to know each other while slowly allowing one another to get a glimpse into their tragic lives. Eventually Brynja gets outed to Mark when her sister tells the media that she’s missing and she has to bite the bullet and call her for help, not knowing that her mother is still in town and wants to mend their broken relationship. Brynja takes this break from her life to take a step back and try to discover a new passion that can bring her the joy and bliss that she once had while cooking.

Directed by Marteinn Thorsson and co-written by Gudmundur Óskarsson and exquisitely photographed in the hauntingly beautiful landscape that is Iceland, the overall message of the film is that life is too short to hold on to resentment. If someone wants to right a wrong, you should at the very least hear them out, because not everyone has the luxury of reconnecting. Like Nomadland, this movie reminds viewers that you’re never too old to make a change in your life and its never too late to be happy with your career.

After you watch this movie, call someone who you don’t talk to anymore, you might be saving someone’s life.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

BACKYARD VILLAGE is screening at Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2021 March 31 until April 10. Tickets are available HERE (this film is geoblocked to California residents only)

SBIFF 2021 – ‘Backyard Village’

Reviewed online (screener provided by publicist – also screening at SBIFF 2021), March 26, 2021. Rating: TBC. Running time: 92 min.

PRODUCTION: A Sena release of a Hin Íslenska Frásagnarakademía Ehf, Tenderlee Motion Pictures Company production. Producers: Marteinn Thorsson, Gudmunder Óskarsson.

CREW: Director: Marteinn Thorsson. Writers: Marteinn Thorsson, Gudmunder Óskarsson. Cinematography: Bergsteinn Björgúlfsson. Editing: Marteinn Thorsson, Valdís Óskarsdóttir. Music: Jófríður Ákadóttir.

CAST: Laufey Eliásdóttir, Tim Plester, Eygló Hilmarsdóttir, Soley Eliasdottir.

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