I just returned from Iceland where The Prophecy had its world premiere at the Reykjavik Film Festival! It was blustery and cold since winter had already set in. But it warmed my heart to reunite with my wonderful Icelandic cast and crew. And it was great to see the film on the big screen!!
The Q&A went great. I was also invited to present a Masterclass. One of the questions was: “Looking at the economic collapse in Iceland as Viking era myth is very interesting. Can you address the use of metaphor in dealing with modern issues?” First of all I explained that, while the film focuses on the economic crisis in Iceland, it is really universal. Iceland was the first place it happened. Now the same thing is going down all over the world – like dominoes.
When asked why I chose a Norse myth to tell the story of the economic collapse, I responded that actually, it was the other way around. I began working on the film before the crisis happened. It started out as a dramatization of the ancient Viking saga called “Voluspa.” I thought it would make a terrific film – it’s so visual and compelling and deeply relevant to our time. I teach Norse mythology at the C. G. Jung Institute of New York. And I believe that Western Civilization is largely informed by Norse values, not just Greco-Roman as we are taught.
“Voluspa” has always blown me away. The saga tells how Odin, the father of the Norse gods, goes to visit a Seeress to find out if there is any way to avert Ragnarok – the end of the world. Reading the myth, I always feel like the Seeress is reaching across time and space, to warn us. And now even more than ever.
While the film was in development, the global economic crisis was unfolding. In a discussion of his character with the fabulous Icelandic actor, Ingvar Sigurdsson, I explained my concept – that Odin is like a modern CEO who refuses to see that his greed, ambition, and lust for power will bring about his own downfall and could even lead us to global destruction – RAGNAROK.
Ingvar suggested that Odin wear a business suit. That was when I decided on the 2 parallel plots – one a depiction of the ancient story and the other about a modern CEO involved with the economic collapse. So the film is really a Morality Play. And it’s not just about Iceland. It’s about the world.