Devil's Island | Chicago Reader

Devil's Island

A marriage is celebrated by three generations of a family living in a former U.S. military barracks on the outskirts of Reykjavik in the 1950s. Then the groom—an iconic American pilot named Charley Brown—takes the bride to America, leaving her young-adult children in the care of their grandparents. One son (Baltasar Kormakur) is invited to visit the newlyweds—an offer that's not extended to his sullen and lonely brother—and he returns home speaking in rock 'n' roll lyrics and advertising slogans. Tragedy, budding romance, visitations from the spirit world, and plenty of alcohol—which vies with American culture as a destructive influence on the characters—fill this elegantly plotted 1996 drama, whose transparent allegory is deepened by some delicate characterization and an almost overpowering sense of desolation. Fridrik Thor Fridriksson directed a screenplay by Einar Karason.

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