Having previously seen Rúnarsson’s harrowing Eldfjall, I know he’s not afraid to shy away from anything, and the same is true about Þrestir. But where Eldfjall focussed on life during the twilight years, Þrestir is coming-of-age in focus. Þrestir can be uncompromising and difficult to watch in parts, but even in unbearable moments there is a seam of something like hope running through, so not all doom and gloom.
FNC '15 Runarsson follows up the fine 'Volcano' with this interesting take on the 'coming of age' film novel for its setting in northwest Iceland. A teen is dumped by his mother in a nowhere rural setting to deal with his alcoholic father, a lack of friends and the extreme frustration of having no control over this relocation. Young Fjalarsson captures that angst/frustration very well in this strongly scripted work.