Birth of an Island

  • Iceland
Audio Tracks 

A thorough explanation of volcanic activity, intercut with poetic images of this destructive force. The filmmaker shot the flowing lava and repeated eruptions in impressive wide shots and dramatic close-ups. The images, which are considered some of the most beautiful footage of a volcano in cinematic history, show the creation of the Icelandic island of Surtsey. Leading Icelandic documentary filmmaker Ósvaldur Knudsen (1899–1975) focused primarily on the depiction of nature, in particular volcanoes. In his work, he tried to find ways of capturing volcanic activity in a way that would be informative and visually impressive all at once.

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  • Original Title
    Surtur fer sunnan
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Ósvaldur Knudsen
  • Cinematography
    Ósvaldur Knudsen
  • Editing
    Ósvaldur Knudsen
  • Sound
    Magnús Blöndal Jóhannsson
  • Runtime
    23 min (16-30 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Iceland
  • Format
    • Colour is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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