It is incredible how archetypes created from the oldest times by humanity, but also by the most important writers of the world, succeed in being shaped in the most nonconformist forms. ‘Sif‘ is a short film that proves this, forcing generic boundaries and historical consistency to reach a quite refreshing epic nucleus around which a magnetic universe is built, where the reality and sci-fi dimensions are convincingly intertwined. From a general perspective, it is hard to say what the mainstay of the directors Arnar Freyr Tómasson and Stefán Mekkinósson is: the reconfiguration of the Romeo and Juliet archetype into a bolder formula that combines the contact between humanity and an alien civilization; the praise of the invaluable wealth of storytelling, of the cultural dimension of the oral fairy tales by which archaic civilizations prepared their children to face the difficulties of life; or the creation of a sort of alternative history exercise that illustrates the confrontation of Viking civilization with a hyper-technological alien species. Similarly, the unusual character of such a combination makes the spectators not sure whether they are watching the cinematic version of a legend, a science fiction film, or a historical drama inspired by the social structure of medieval civilizations. Perhaps the most appropriate concept to capture the essence of this short film is sci-fi legend, which can be here and there quite limited in turn. But beyond any conceptual attempt, it is obvious that this impossibility to discern or to create a hierarchy of the constituent elements of this project fascinated us so much.
In spite of the advice and interdictions of her father, Sif, a fearless young woman embodying the warrior princess typology, wants to find the truth about the mysterious “meteorite” that has collapsed near their home. But things are not as simple as they seem, since this spectacular natural phenomenon announces the arrival of an alien civilization. However, on this occasion, Sif will have to face not only the threat of an unknown species but also the possibility of a spontaneous love.
Beyond the narrative stakes of the project, Arnar Freyr Tómasson and Stefán Mekkinósson prove through their work remarkable talent, managing to provide their own fictional universe with the bizarre aura, placed at the boundary between historic realism and technological myth, of a dynamic experiment that resonates somewhat in subtext with some of Terry Gilliam’s experiments. Thus, the sometimes-contemplative poeticism of the image, the efficient cutting of sequences, as well as the suggestiveness of the musical background are balanced in the dense, misleading and attractive substance of ‘Sif’, which, even if it doesn’t become a feature (though it has all the ingredients necessary for that), bring to our attention two promising directors we certainly want to hear more about in the near future.