The County

Reviewed by Vaughan Ames

As promised, last week we joined Inga in a small dairy farming community in Iceland where she decided to take on 'The County' Co-op. The Co-op had been set up to be run by the locals to protect them from big business; over the years it had become a big business which the members could no longer control. When it seemed that it had been responsible for the death of her husband, Inga could no longer stand the grinding drudgery that her life seemed to be because of the debts she had to the Co-op – she decided to try to get fellow farmers to stand up for themselves.

In a series of Facebook articles and TV interviews, she becomes more and more isolated: all the other farmers either still believe in the Coop or are too frightened to speak out. Eventually, she pulls a stunt - spraying milk from her tractor all over the Coop buildings. Apart from being a bit of light relief in the film, it also goads some her friends into supporting her.

Spoiler Warning

The climax takes place at a meeting of the Co-op where she proposes a new Dairy Farmers Co-op, to be run by its members. Despite the head of the Co-op making a speech against her, which silences all her allies, she once again stands and simply talks about her dead husband. With the camera fixed on her face, we hear the votes being cast...and… she wins!

BUT... instead of leaving that as a cosy ending, there was a slightly confusing ending; the Co-op effectively declare her farm bankrupt. She accepts this, packs up her belongings and drives off into the sunset. She had never wanted to work the farm where she was, so I think we are supposed to see this as a happy ending, especially as she was singing along with a happy tune on the car radio, but certainly left some of us confused...