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Woman at War (2018)


2nd November 2019

The catering team were enjoying the use of their new, larger, teapot and the wider range of cake offerings were widely appreciated by the audience. There were a number of audience members who were here for the first or second time. They had all chosen to attend because of the subject matter of Woman At War and applauded the variety and range of films offered at RCC. Audience numbers appeared a little fewer than for the more commercial ‘feel-good’ movies but the power and intensity of both main feature as well as the supporting shorts was remarked upon by a significant number of audience members. The power of the short films shown tonight prompted discussion during the interval of diverse subjects such as tree planting projects, methods of population control, individual responsibility for turning down heating and not burning fossil fuels, single use plastic etc. New audience members travelled from quite a distance – Hawkenbury, Crowborough to name two. One couple felt that they were not informed sufficiently about the availability of raffle tickets; although another new couple did not concur. One newbie comment, “The whole evening was lovely” seemed to be echoed by the general feeling in the room. Kim

Who originally suggested this Icelandic drama about a woman who wages a personal environmental war? We would like to thank them, as we all really enjoyed it – one of our group declared it was one of our best films ever. We talked about the filming techniques used. The Ukrainian choir and musicians appeared unexpectedly in various shots, watching the action and making us aware that we were viewing a constructed drama. We shared ideas about what ‘breaking the fourth wall’ meant. The beauty of the scenery was appreciated and the “light and bright” look of the film. The key character Halla often buried herself within the lichen, to show how she was at one with nature. The practicalities of her war on the local aluminium industry did seem far-fetched - she took down a pylon just wearing thin gloves. However, some critics have called this film a fable, so this helps with the suspension of disbelief. A member of the group talked about the disconnectedness in the film between town and country. We also mentioned the role of the foreign tourist, who kept getting arrested for nothing – perhaps a dig at Iceland’s insularity. Our knowledge on Icelandic culture was shared and we learnt about the popularity of choirs within the country. We all were amused that the dog in the film was called ‘Woman’. We ended with a fun quiz on Icelandic words and concepts, including ‘Gluggaveður’ – window weather. This is when the weather looks amazing when you look out of your window but is freezing cold when you go outside. Anne Goldstein

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Rusthall Community Cinema, Sunnyside Community Hall, Rusthall Road, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells, TN4 8RA.  hello@RusthallCinema.club