Liverpool of the North

In the late fifties Iceland was isolated and backwards. Industrialisation had really just begun and the country was taking it’s first steps towards the ultra-modern society we know today. The US military set up a base next to the sleepy fishing village of Keflavik on the south coast turning everything on it’s head. The Americans outnumbered the locals three to one. Culturally it was as if a UFO had landed. The young people were more open to cultural influences than the older generation and this triggered a rock and roll explosion which then swept the rest of the country. It was the birth of Icelandic teenage culture. Because of Iceland’s location right between America and Europe the cultural influences mixed to produce an unique blend.

This is a coming of age story of a music scene reflected in the life of our main character. Runar Juliusson is quite the character. He is a founding member and frontman of the ‘Icelandic Beatles’ a band called Hljomar which celebrated their 40’th year in 2003. Runar played with the national football team, was voted pop-star of the year and got engaged to Miss Iceland, all in the same year. At the time he was building his house in Keflavik where he still lives with his beauty queen. In the basement he runs a studio and where he records his own records as well as producing younger acts which he releases on his own label. At 60,he still releases at least one album a year and plays over 200 gigs a year. The pioneers of Keflavik were kings of the Icelandic scenes for decades and many of them are still active.

About the film

  • Type
  • National Premiere Date
    April 15, 2005
  • Length
    102 min.
  • Language
  • Original Title
    Bítlabærinn Keflavík
  • International Title
    Liverpool of the North
  • Production Year
  • Production Countries
  • Icelandic Film Centre Grant
  • Color
  • Sound
  • Screening format and subtitles
    SP Betacam w/English subtitles.

Company Credits