The lives of three characters intertwine in Life in a Fishbowl, a strongly acted, sensitively directed drama. This naturalistic portrait of fraught lifestyles in Reykjavik on the eve of economic meltdown touched a nerve on home turf to become one of the island’s biggest-ever domestic hits.

Each of the central characters leads a double life. Eik (Hera Hilmarsdóttir), the young mother of a diabetic 8-year-old, moonlights as a prostitute. Eik’s path begins to intersect with that of Mori (þorsteinn Bachmann), a poet and novelist who has been a raging alcoholic since a tragic incident 20 years earlier. Meanwhile, Solvi (Thor Kristjansson), a former soccer star recruited into international banking, wants the rights to Mori’s property.

While these characters might have been stereotypes in other hands, Baldvin Zophoníasson and co-writer Birgir Steinarsson give them nuance and depth. Just when viewers think they know everything about the protagonists, the script delves deeper, revealing complications and contradictions.

Alissa Simon


Please note that the festival is over 18s only