The Seagull's Laughter

Today I am going to recommend a movie. I have just finished reading Mávahlátur (The Seagull's Laughter) by Kristín Marja Baldursdóttir, and loved it. I had previously enjoyed the movie and can now with certainty say that it is the most faithful movie adaptation of a book I have seen. It’s a combination of mystery, satire and coming of age story, with the central character Agga turning from girl to woman in the course of the book, while observing her mysterious cousin Freyja, who may or may not have murdered two men, and her struggles with the class system. The class-conscious society of an Icelandic fishing town in the 1950s is beautifully drawn (Freyja is working class, the man she marries is as close to being an aristocrat as is possible in Iceland), and while Americans have been puzzled over the catty class clashes (I have been reading movie reviews), people from more class-divided countries like Britain should be able to enjoy the story on a more equal footing with Icelanders. The movie is out on DVD and video, and I heartily recommend it.

P.S. I would also like to apologise for the scarcity of reviews lately. I am in the finishing stages of writing my master's thesis and have only had time to read at such times when I couldn't sit at the computer and type, like mealtimes and my habitual half hour before bed-time. I am looking forward to the end of the month when I finally turn the thing in. Then, of course, comes the endless wait for grades and graduation, but that can at least be temporarily forgotten with the help of a good book.


Anonymous said…
I love the film as well :) it's a beautiful film. I was wondering if you'd read an english translation? I am on my way to a bookstore right now to look for one..I hope one exists.
Bibliophile said…
Anon, unfortunately there does not seem to be an English translation available. It is available in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch and German.

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