Icelandic Oscar Contender 'Woman at War' Wins European Lux Award

Benedikt Erlingsson's drama, starring Halldora Geirhardsdottir as a 40-something eco-terrorist, took the prize awarded by the European Parliament for best European film of 2018.

Benedikt Erlingsson's Woman at War, Iceland's contender for the 2019 Oscar in the best foreign-language film category, has won the Lux Award for best European film.

The European Parliament presents the Lux award, given to the feature judged the best European film of the year.

Described by Erlingsson as an "art house action movie," Woman at War tells the story of Halla, a 50-something woman who declares war on the local aluminum industry to prevent it from disfiguring her country. Halldora Geirhardsdottir stars in a double role as Halla and her hippie twin sister, Asa.

Accepting the Lux prize at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on Wednesday, Erlingsson said he felt “honored” to be in what he called "the temple of power" that is the European legislature.

"I feel like a politician, and I think politicians are also storytellers," the director said. "In fact, you are also very brave, because you are taking on the real challenges of fighting against climate change. Climate change will be the focus of all politics in the future."

Woman at War premiered in Cannes' Critics' Week sidebar and has been stacking up the awards since, most recently picking up the Nordic Council Film Prize for best Scandinavian film of the year. Geirhardsdottir was just nominated for a European Film Award as best European actress.

Iceland picked Woman at War as its official entry for the 2019 Oscars in the best foreign-language film category. Magnolia Pictures has acquired the film for North America. Beta Cinema is handling international sales.