Under the Glacier
Under the Glacier

Under the Glacier

This is the story of a spiritual and physical odyssey, comic and strange, made by a young theological student.


Our hero is Umbi (an acronym for emissary of the bishop), sent by him to undertake an important investigation at Snæfell-glacier. In particular he is to look into the conduct and behavior of Jón Prímus, the old pastor at Snæfell. Fantastic rumors are rife: amongst other things it is said that a corpse is lodged in the glacier! Armed with his tape recorder and notebook, Umbi embarks upon his mission. He tries to question the weird locals, a weird lot, but gets evasive answers. Slowly he is dragged into a quagmire of strange happenings and his efforts to understand only make him confused. If at the beginning he is a chipper, a mere device, by the end of the story he is inextricably involved, a committed participant in the bizarre events.

About the film

  • Type: Feature Film
  • National Premiere Date: February 25, 1989
  • Genre: Drama, Drama
  • Length: 91 min.
  • Language: Icelandic
  • Original Title: Kristnihald undir jökli
  • International Title: Under the Glacier
  • Production Year: 1989
  • Production Countries: Iceland
  • IMDB: Under the Glacier
  • Icelandic Film Centre Grant: Yes
  • Based on a : Novel
  • Production Format: 35mm
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Color: Yes
  • Sound: Dolby Stereo SR
  • Screening format and subtitles: 35mm film with English sub. -



Company Credits


  • Academy Awards - Award: The Icelandic entry for best foreign language film.

Television distribution

  • Iceland: RÚV, 1991
  • Iceland: RÚV, 1992


  • Bergvík, 2000 - mynddiskur (DVD)
  • Bergvík, 1994 - myndsnælda
  • Námsgagnastofnun, 1989 - myndband

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