The Seer and the Unseen in Iceland

The Vikings spoke with the elves on arrival to Iceland according to the introduction to this documentary Seer and the Unseen by Sara Dosa . So does an Icelandic seer and Lorax – elf spokesperson - grandmother Ragnhildur “Ragga” Jónsdóttir. She has seen how they live, their homes and their restaurants and an Elf Church and there are other believers who have not seen but believe. While we don’t get to see the elves, some helped in the making of the film. We hear the testimony of Icelanders and breathtaking shots of the Icelandic peninsula. More than 50% of Icelandic citizens believe in the elves so the environmental movement is active and important in the preservation of lava rock, the homeland of the elves, and through seers they communicate about what parts of the land it is important to preserve. The film opens with footage of Icelandic volcanoes and it is the formation of lava rock that became the home of elves. The elves are part of Icelandic folklore and old Norse poems where the light elves were said to reside on the land of the ancient Alfheimr region - present day Alftanes.

The roadworks of Iceland doesn’t care about this sacred ground and physically remove protestors from Alftanes who lay down on the earth. They are forced from the site and put in jail and their testimony falsified. The movement grows during the course of the film and protestors sing national songs.

Iceland is a country of 350, 000 people and the aerial shots of the roads seem ridiculously abundant with roundabouts to get to homes in the sparsely populated Alftanes peninsula of 2,500 people. It is also the national home for the Icelandic president – BessastaĆ°ir , 15 kilometers from the capital city Reykjavik.

In 2006, banks offered loans and the economic boom followed with Icelanders who believed it was necessary to build with borrowed money on sacred land. This boom was short lived and caused widespread bankruptcy but now the rebuilding has been ongoing since 2008. More and more homes are being built today and the roads are part of the plan.

Sara Dosa is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose focus is on ecology and economics. The Seer and the Unseen can be seen Sept 12 in San Rafael, the Roxie in San Francisco Sept 13 and Rialto Theatre in Berkeley Sept 16. The filmmaker will be present at all screenings.

© 2021 - Moira Jean Sullivan - Air Date: 09/08/21
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