Surtsey - The Black Island

An unexpected submarine eruption south of Iceland created an island, Surtsey, and changed our perception of the Earth. The Black Island is the epic Saga of Surtsey. The film depicts the evolution of life and our fascination and fear of the world´s untamed and still unknown forces. Using unique archive material and new films from visits to the Black Island.

Just before dawn on the 14th. of November 1963; The crew of the fishing boat Isleifur suddenly feels strong currents in the ocean and observes how flames and smoke rises our of the waves - the dramatic birth of the Black island has begun. A thousand days later the volcanic eruption comes to an end.
Today Surtsey is the place on Earth most similar to the Moon. Only a few scientists may visit the island. One of them is Sturla Fridriksson, 80 years, and leader of many scientific expeditions to Surtsey: "One always finds hidden treasures there, it´s truly a magical island".

About the film

  • Type
  • Length
    45 min.
  • Language
    Icelandic, English
  • Original Title
    Surtsey - eyjan svarta
  • International Title
    Surtsey - The Black Island
  • Production Year
  • Production Countries
  • Website
  • Icelandic Film Centre Grant
  • Screening format and subtitles
    DigiBeta, w/English subtitles

Company Credits


  • 2005
    Festival International Du Film Unsulaire
  • 2004
    Ecocinema Information Section, Greece
  • 2004
    Icelandic Nature in Moving Pictures