Icelanders is the first in a series of three documentaries that studies catastrophes in connection to people and their environments.
The film portrays a strange mission undertaken by volunteers of the search and rescue squad in 2014, in which they were contracted by a private corporation to harvest DNA from Icelandic peoples. The corporation, deCODE Genetics, is headquartered in Reykjavik where scientists, robots, and supercomputers work together in secrecy to understand faculties that define a human life. The film is composed of revealing narratives told by volunteers of the search and rescue squad, human test subjects and the pioneer behind the project Dr. Kári Stefánsson who believes the survival of the human species is dependent on the death of the individual.
Though the film is essentially dealing with nuanced scientific concepts its approach deviates from a conventional documentary structure. By melding real-world events and recorded interviews with staged scenes the line between reality and fiction becomes blurred. The result is an experiment that pushes the boundaries of the documentary genre both through its visual language and subject matter in which we ask: How can we continue to promulgate hyper-‐individuality and the idea of affecting change in the world when faced with irrefutable evidence that seems to suggest that all our abilities and responses are predetermined by our genetic code?
Directed by Kristjan Torr
Cinematography by Joona Saastamoinen
Produced by Videoklubben
Duration: 60 minutes - Format: DCP