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Of Horses and Men

Directed by Benedict Erlingsson

Iceland, 2013

Cornerhouse, 15 June 2014

Of Horses and Men

This is a curious film, set amid a mountainous community where everyone spies on everyone else through binoculars and where all own and ride horses.

Some are tame, others wild.  They are at times mistreated, put to the test, found wanting.  It is as though the horse were a metaphor for a Primal Something: Eros, the Holy Spirit, a Life Force of some description.

Sadly one fellow, after swimming out with his horse to a Russian ship, dies through drinking undiluted vodka, an avoidable fate.  He never learned to mix his drinks, poor chap.  For example, Zubrowka (a Polish beverage whose ready availability amply justifies Britain’s membership of the EU) with apple juice is much more pleasant than Zubrowka drunk on its own.  With juice added, it tastes very much like apple strudel.

Back to the film: I found it to be a perplexing affair, though certainly intriguing in parts.  My general conclusion: if Iceland had trains, horses wouldn’t be such a big deal.