Helga Rakel Rafnsdóttir
Iceland, 44 min
Thorbjörn Steingrimsson is an unusual shepherd. He does not have sheep or goats but ramshackle cars from which he extracts working components for his spare parts business. Shot with great talent, the iron pieces of now immobile former racecars, become part of a singularly beautiful landscape.
Thorbjörn Steingrimsson is a man who carries out physical labour. Early in the morning, he puts on his overalls and goes out into the cold, sunny Icelandic countryside. His farm, unlike the rest, is not full of goats or sheep but hundreds of cars arranged on a large field. He harvests with speed and precision, extracting spare parts from the carcasses to recycle them on the other cars. Like a surgeon with a vast organ supply, he keeps cars alive. With a beautiful sense of framing and cinematography, Helga Rakel Rafnsdóttir dwells on the detail of both the twisted iron and the splendid blue Icelandic skies; each, in their own way, can turn out to be extraordinary. The narration also lingers on Thorbjörn’s wife and children, revealing a man entirely devoted to his family, in the unlikely landscape of this car cemetery. The parts of these former speedsters, now immobile, somehow create a landscape of singular beauty.
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