An environmental activist story told with hope and humor

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To coincide with Earth Day, the Cinema Arts Centre will host a screening on Monday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m of “Woman at War,” a stylish political satire about a woman who risks everything to protect her home in the highlands of Iceland by waging a one-woman war on the local aluminum industry that has been disfiguring her country.

Halla (Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir) has just learned she’s been approved to adopt a child from a war-torn area in Ukraine, a long-time dream of hers. The only hitch is that she’s an eco-terrorist. The proliferation of heavy industry, urged on by unscrupulous politicians, has been ruining Iceland’s rugged landscape, and she’s taken action.

Halla soon becomes the scourge of the aluminum industry and is determined to see things through, but she can’t help wondering: would it be more fulfilling to save hypothetical future lives or the life of the daughter she has yet to meet?

Director Benedikt Erlingsson’s second feature that Variety calls “near perfect” drills deep into the inevitable dilemmas plaguing almost everyone committed to the greater good. The political satire here is precise and rich. It’s evident in the sleazy way the powers that be stoop to demonize Halla.

At the same time, there’s a puckish, postmodernist sense of humor percolating through the film. A tiny jazz band follows Halla everywhere she goes, reminding us that the revolution should be hopeful, not just gloom and doom. And it should come with cool music. 

Tickets to the show are $7 for members and $12 for the general public.

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