In the Shadow of the Raven
Iceland - 1988
Directed by Hrafn Gunnlaugsson
The spectacular Icelandic landscape of waterfalls and geysers, canyons and seas
is a fitting backdrop for In the Shadow of the Raven, a bigger-than-life tale of
feuding clans and primal passions drawn from Icelandic sagas, the Tristan and Isolde
legend and the movie mythology of warlords and Westerns. The year is 1077. Christianity
has nominally supplanted the old Norse religion of blood and thunder but when Trausti
(Tristan) returns from studying theology in Norway, he soon finds himself caught in a
foreordained drama of love, power and revenge. The raven, symbol of Odin, watches over
all. Director Hrafn (the name means "raven") Gunnlaugsson, who put Icelandic
cinema on the map with his 1983 When the Raven Flies, cites Ford, Kurosawa and Leone as his major influences. His
vivid imagery and use of landscape, the raw immediacy of his epic storytelling, and his
over-the-top bravura echo the masters in the novel and compelling context of medieval
Iceland. Check out the wonderful Kurosawa
quotation from Ran in Isolde's dagger-and-kiss
confrontation with Trausti. --
Runtime: 120 Minutes
Thanks to the Pacific Film Archives for the above information.
From: "S. Tropht"
"I'll add my voice to those who are haunted by this film; the
scenery is spectacular, but the story itself reminds me of Aguirre, the Wrath of
God, and other such stories that take up permanent space in one's head. Release
this film on DVD!"
From: "Raven Seeker"
"I too have been looking for a copy of this film for 10 years. I'm wondering if some letter writting campaign requesting
its release to video or DVD would bring results. Has anyone had success trying to bring a film to
a home release market?"
""In the shadow of the raven"
is actually the second in a series of three unrelated films about the Viking's
in Norway and Iceland. The first one is called ""The raven is
flying"" or ""Hrafninn flygur"" and the third film
is called ""The white Viking"". They are Icelandic/Swedish
productions and are available on VHS in Sweden."
"I have been searching for this film, forever and a day... What a gorgeous and haunting film... I am glad others out there
feel the same way. Is there anyway to order it through the mail (via Sweden, perhaps)?