When it comes to the International Feature Film category at the Academy Awards, the somewhat archaic submission process involves a country nominating just one feature from the year’s filmmaking output. Regarding eligibility criteria, international co-productions are in a tricky spot, whereby factors such as how much funding came from a specific country, or what per cent of the dialogue is in a certain language, determine which nation can most justifiably claim it as their own in the pursuit of an Oscar.
Awards season rumours suggest director Hlynur Pálmason’s darkly comic epic Godland fell victim to those eligibility debates. While some funding came from France and Sweden, the film was also backed by Icelandic and Danish production companies, is set mainly in Iceland after a Denmark-set prologue, and follows a Danish character’s attempted assimilation in Iceland. There’s a roughly even split between Icelandic and Danish dialogue, but in the end, neither territory submitted the film.
Godland may have been not Icelandic enough, but also not Danish enough. But then, this is a quite fitting outside-the-film circumstance for a story in which cultural clash and notions of societal belonging are explicitly part of the text; a film that includes separate title cards in both Icelandic and Danish at its open and close…
Full review for Little White Lies