Inside Out 2017: ‘Heartstone (Hjartasteinn)’ Review

Heartstone Hjartasteinn Film

Set against the background of a beautiful, rural village in Iceland, Heartstone is an auspicious debut from director Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson. Neither Thor nor Christian have the best home life. Thor’s sisters bully him relentlessly and his single mother pretty much resents his existence. Christian’s dad is no better – he’s abusive and his homophobia is evident early on in the film. That leaves these two boys with only their friendship. But when Christian’s feelings become less platonic towards Thor, it puts a strain on their friendship.

Heartstone is a story about friendship, discovery, and family. It’s a story about the difficulties of coming out to people closest to you. It’s a beautiful film to look at; Cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grøvlen does a fantastic job of creating contrast between an innately delicate story with the sometimes harsh weather of Iceland. But at 129 minutes, the film could use some editing to minimize the broodiness of the film and perhaps put more emphasis on Christian’s story line – the more interesting of the two teenage boys.

Rating: 6.5/10

Screening on June 1, 2017 at 9:30 pm. More Info.

Inside Out LGBT Film Festival

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