The Higher Force

  • 80'
  • Iceland
  • 2008
After having made quite an impression in 2008 with The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela, the story of a Filipino transsexual, Olaf de Fleur Johannesson situates his next film in his own country, Iceland. Here the small, amateur good fellow and wannabe poet David wrestles with life. A car accident that killed his little brother, who shared his love of kung fu, continues to haunt him. He earns his living collecting debt for an amateurish Mafia gang in which he is the fall guy. The only solace in his grey life comes unexpectedly from his landlord Harald. David thinks he recognises him as the driver who killed his brother. As revenge, he suggests to the gang members that this lonely man is a mysterious crook who disappeared in Mexico.
Olaf de Fleur does little to make the characters credible. On the contrary, he allows David to rise in the pecking order of the bizarre group of Mafiosi in a series of events. Combined with stubborn faith in their own escapist fantasies, that turns The Higher Force into an unashamedly offbeat comedy filled with droll fake pretence, miscommunication and plot developments that can't be taken seriously. The addition of producer Stefan Schaefer as a talkative German crook and Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos) as Mafia boss heighten the implausibility of this crazy story in which the pleasure of film making transcends all. (GT)

Olaf de Fleur Johannesson
European premiere
Countries of production
Iceland, USA
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2009
Original title
Stora planid
Icelandic, English
Olaf de Fleur Johannesson, Stefan Schaefer, Helgi Sverrisson
Production Companies
Poppoli Pictures, Cicala Filmworks
Visit Films
Stefan Schaefer, Olaf de Fleur, partly based on a book by Thor Thorsteinsson
Rune Kippervik
Gudni Pall Saemundsson, Olaf de Fleur
Production Design
Linda Stefansdottir
Sound Design
Gunnar Arnason
Pavel E Smid
Benedikt Erlingsson, Ingvar E. Sigurdsson, Stefan Schaefer