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When three major Icelandic banks collapsed in October 2008 it was obvious that the crisis would affect society and people for generations to come. The banking crisis in Iceland inspired British director Henry Bateman and producer Heather Millard to go to Iceland and make a documentary about the situation, called Future of Hope (2010). Future of Hope has a new perspective of the banking crisis and that opportunities have sprung from it. Many Icelanders see the crisis as a chance to rethink their values and build a future more focused on sustainable living. The documentary is an optimistic one and as stated in the film´s synopsis ,,the documentary, strives to become a catalyst for positive change both in Iceland and internationally. There is a growing realisation that our current model of society and culture is unsustainable, we have been living beyond our means.” Which is exactly what many Icelanders were doing during the years leading to the collapse of the banks; going overboard in spending and consumption.
Thankfully much has happened since then.The special fraud investigators and the justice system are working hard on financial crime investigations and sentencing people for crimes related to the collapse of the banks. Regular Joes and Janes are also working hard, trying to make a decent living and taking care of their families and friends. Although many people are still angry and have a lot of resentment towards this and that, most of us look ahead towards the future. There has been a positive change in Iceland and future of hope is here.
Future of Hope is beautifully shot in full HD by Bateman and edited by Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir. It´s challenging to tell some of Iceland´s history in less than a minute but it´s brilliantly executed with both amusing and informative animation by Una Lorenzen. Music is by Birgir Hilmarsson and additional music by Damien Rice, Ampop, Feldberg, Lára, Vyvienne Long and Blindfold.
The film was nominated for The Edda awards, the Icelandic Film & TV academy awards, for Best Documentary in 2011 and it was chosen as official selection at numerous film festivals like 2010 IDFA in Green Screen Competition, One World Film Festival 2011 and Thessaloniki International Documentary Film Festival 2011 to name a few.
Future of Hope just opened in theaters in USA and UK. It will be available on VoD website Icelandic Cinema Online in March and you can preorder DVD here and buy the music here. People living in Iceland can watch the film on SkjárBíó.