Visions du Réel Review: Lobster Soup

Alli enjoying a lobster soup

Until relatively recently, life in the small coastal town of Grindavík on the southern peninsula of Iceland solely revolved around the fishing industry. To a large extent, this remains the same, but the introduction of quotas and its proximity to the major tourist attractions of Blue Lagoon and the Bridge Between Continents have slowly changed the nature of the conurbation. To the consternation and bemusement of the locals.

Bryggjan Café was founded by a pair of brothers, Alli and Krilli, downstairs from their net making business. The bijou harbourside coffee shop was built with the community in mind. A place for fishermen and locals to grab a drink and set the world to rights. Lobster soup soon became its signature dish. Jose Andreu Ibarra & Rafa Molés’ new documentary follows the establishment as it’s prepares to enter a new phase in its existence.

Lobster Soup is a beautifully realised portrait of a business at the heart of a small traditional community. Both are at threat from a nearby volcano which threatens to erupt at any moment and the rise of global tourism. Pushed to breaking point, the brothers must decide their next move carefully. What makes Lobster Soup so special is the way in which the café is captured. By choosing to concentrate on the people and their discussions Ibarra and Molés film reinforces that the most important aspect of any society is the people.

Lobster Soup screens at Visions du Réel.

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