Myrkrahofdinginn (2000)

Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - Iceland  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Jonathan Crow

Hrafn Gunnlaugsson directs this bleak historical drama about repressed sexuality, Satan, and ghoulish modes of torture. Set during the 17th century, the film opens with a wizened old man stumbling upon the doorstep of a remote Icelandic monastery. The old man, on his death bed, recounts his life story to one of the priests. The action flashes back to 1643, where Jon Magnusson (Hilmir Snaer Gudnason) has just graduated from the seminary and is told that he can take over a small isolated parish if he marries the former vicar's wife Thorkatla (Gudrun Kristin Magnusdottir), who turns out to be 30 years older than him. Though they eventually marry, he refuses to sleep with her, arguing that they must not yield to the pleasures of the flesh. In truth, Jon does not want to succumb to the flesh of a dowdy middle-aged woman, instead he hungers for the pert young body of the comely Thuridur (Sara Gogg Asgeirsdottir). In a desperate attempt to drive away the miasma of frustrated thoughts wracking his brain, he stages a one-man campaign against Satan worshippers. Accusing Thuridur's father (Jon Sigurbjornsson) and brother (Jon Tryggvasson) of witchcraft, he has them sentenced to death. Later, Jon gives Thuridur an offer she cannot refuse -- have sex with him or watch her menfolk go up in flames. Of course, she does refuse. Not long afterward, her relatives are rendered into ash and congealed fat and Thuridur herself is accused of the crime.