It is not often that Iceland has an official entry for Oscar consideration, but this past year writer/director Baltasar Kormákur’s The Deep was such a film.
This tightly wound drama tells the true story of Gulli (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson — 101 Reykjavík, Beowulf & Grendel, etc.), a hulking fisherman who miraculously survived the sinking of the fishing boat he was a crewmember of while trolling off the coast of Iceland.
Virgil Films & Entertainment has tabbed Aug. 13 as the domestic DVD release date for this award-winning film.
It’s 1984, the nets of their fishing boat snag and quickly sink the small vessel. The Westman Islands off the southern coast of Iceland were visible in the distance, but the waters of the North Atlantic were frigid and his boatmates quickly perished, but somehow Gulli was able to find the strength to eventually reach shore.
To keep the action moving, Kormákur cuts between Gulli bobbing up and down in the cold blue water and the dreams/visions he has of his life, family, friends as he drifts in and out of consciousness. It is quite effective.
The aftermath of his survival brings both celebration and questions … a bittersweet tale seems to divide the tightly knit fishing community. Some look for miracles. Some question, “why you?”
The Deep is presented in Icelandic with English subtitles.
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