Father's Estate

Father's Estate caused more public and journalistic controversy than any other Icelandic film had ever done. This was the first time a film held up a starkly realistic mirror to modern times in Iceland, struck out against the long-held romantic view of the countryside, the pervasive power of the cooperative societies, the bondage of the land and the great deception that men are better Icelanders for seeking out their lives in the country. The political message of Father's Estate may be summed up in one phrase: It is not the farmers who own the cooperative societies; it is the cooperatives which own the farmers. In Father's Estate, Hrafn Gunnlaugsson shows us the reverse side of an often-flipped coin. Icelandic authors had for years deplored the fate of those who left the delightful countryside for the inhospitable towns. In Father's Estate, the pleasures of rural life have become a nightmare and the tragedy lies in not being able to get away, to be chained to the land, a prey to poverty and social isolation, on a farm so small it should long since have been abandoned.

About the film

  • Type
    Feature Film
  • National Premiere Date
    June 21, 1980, Háskólabíó
  • Genre
  • Length
    98 min.
  • Language
  • Original Title
    Óðal feðranna
  • International Title
    Father's Estate
  • Production Year
  • Production Countries
  • IMDB
  • Icelandic Film Centre Grant
  • Production Format
  • Aspect Ratio
  • Color
  • Sound
  • Screening format and subtitles
    No print available

Company Credits


  • 2011
    Filmfest Hamburg, Icelandic retrospective

Television distribution

  • Iceland
    RÚV, 1994


  • F.I.L.M., 2008 - DVD