A White, White Day
Review by Willard Manus

The frigid, phantasmagorical country known as Iceland serves as the backdrop to A WHITE, WHITE DAY, the new thriller starring Ingvar Sigurdsson as a bereaved police chief who seeks to avenge his wife’s death.
Written and directed by Hylnur Palmason, A WHITE, WHITE DAY was Iceland’s 2020 Oscar submission and a festival favorite at Cannes. Distributed in this country by Film Movement, the film is a kind of Arctic noir, replete with fog, blizzards and eerie landscapes against which the police chief of a remote village conducts a vendetta against a man he suspects of having had an affair with his late wife.

The chief, a brooding, grey-bearded man, has been left widowed by her death which occurred in the midst of a blinding snowstorm which caused her to swerve off the highway and tumble into the sea. Left with an 8-year-old child to raise by himself, the chief’s pain and grief are compounded by his suspicion that one of his friends, a teammate on the town’s soccer team, was bedding his wife on a regular basis.
The chief becomes obsessed with his need for vengeance, so much so that he begins to ignore his police work. Warned by his superiors that his job was in danger, he not only fails to temper his behavior but ends up freaking out during a meeting and wrecking half the furniture in the office.

A WHITE, WHITE DAY is a Nordic study of revenge, jealousy and self-destruction. The chief, skillfully played by Sigurdsson, becomes a tragic hero, though his descent into madness is halted with the help of a therapist, enabling the story to end on a note of hope and optimism.