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432 Ratings

Of Horses and Men

Hross í oss

Directed by Benedikt Erlingsson
Iceland, Germany, 2013
Comedy, Drama, Romance


In a remote valley in Iceland, where neighbours follow each other closely and people have deeply intertwined relationships with their horses, a couple’s first official visit is keenly monitored. Spring is coming and, with it, the dangerous force of nature. This cannot end well.

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Of Horses and Men Directed by Benedikt Erlingsson
It successfully combines its dark humour with a reflection on the changing nature of seduction and film. This is mirrored in the shifting relationships between horses and men. Vernhardur, a drunk, makes his horse swim out to a Russian trawler, where he buys what he thinks is vodka, but is in fact treated alcohol that kills him. This might appear a simple, tragic, comic narrative about the preservation of Icelandic nature and horses, but it is a more complex reflection of global connectivity.
November 20, 2016
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The tales the film spins are both bawdy, in their focus on animalistic lusts—more than one species is seen to copulate outdoors, gruntingly—and at times pleasingly legendary, with incidents of retributive blindness, unexpected visions, and land disputes as vicious as in the times of the Sagas. The film gets laughs at backwards folkways… but the humor is also nostalgic in its passed-down broadness. The final shot is a frankly elegiac picture of community ritual.
March 11, 2015
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Mr. Erlingsson, an actor directing a brisk debut feature, doesn’t use the characters for deadpan jokes or lessons (except maybe that the horsewomen are the real go-getters of the bunch). He pushes ahead with efficient visuals, snappy transitions and a driving score split between cantering rhythms and choral hymns. All the same, it’s not quite apparent what these characters do besides go on roundups, get into quandaries and spy on one another.
March 10, 2015
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