Icelandic auteur Baltasar Kormákur directs and stars in this psychological thriller about a father who tries to pull his daughter out of her world of drugs and petty crime, only to find that danger can be found in unexpected places.
Finnur (Kormákur), a prominent physician, is dealing simultaneously with both the death of his father and the increasingly erratic behavior of his eldest daughter, Anna (Hera Hilmar). Perplexed, he suspects that Anna's new boyfriend, Óttar (Gísli Örn Garðarsson), may be the cause. A frantic late-night call from Anna convinces Finnur that he must get Óttar out of his daughter's life for good. But Óttar's hold over her is unshakeable, the authorities prove completely useless, and he turns out to be much more ruthless than Finnur anticipated. Finnur feels increasingly powerless, a position that is both horrifying and heartbreaking.
The Oath offers a profoundly universal tale about a parent's responsibility for—and anxiety over—his adult children. At the same time, the film is uniquely Icelandic, ruminating on both the impact of the country's relatively sudden urbanization (Finnur's father, a sinister and abusive figure, was a rancher who lived alone for much of his life) and its long-standing tradition of dogged independence. Finnur's dilemma, caught up in his quest for personally delivered justice, evokes Icelandic sagas. (Iceland, 2016).
About the director
Baltasar Kormákur (Reykjavik, 1966), debuted as a director and screenwriter in 2000 with 101 Reykjavik, in which he also acted. He has developed his career in both Iceland and the United States. His other films include The Sea (2002), A Little Trip to Heaven (2005), Jar City (2006), White Night Wedding (2008), Inhale (2010), Contraband (2012), The Deep (2012), 2 Guns (2013) and Everest (2015). He created and produces the TV series Trapped (2015), and has also directed a number of episodes.
Special thanks to Gunpowder & Sky Distribution.