Against the Ice

The epic tales of polar explorations are littered with mysterious tragedies. In the event of success, history is written by the protagonists, but it is the failures that most interest scholars, engendering various theories about the fate of men who are unable to recount their defeats. Such was the case of the notorious Danish expedition in north-east Greenland that Ludvig Mylius-Erichsen, Niels Peter Høeg-Hagen and Jørgen Brønlund carried out between 1906 and 1908. Only Brønlund’s body was recovered, but the Danish claim for that unexplored territory, in contention with the United States, depended on the location of the other two, as well as their journals and maps. These geopolitical implications led to a new mission: seven men departed on the Alabama; two of them, the ambitious captain Mikkelsen (played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who also wrote the film) and the inexperienced mechanic Iversen (Joe Cole), set out repeatedly into the icy desert. But confirming the discoveries of Mylius-Erichsen and Høeg-Hagen turned out to be the easy part. The journey became an odyssey that tested the limits of survival and was to acquire legendary status of its own.
by Peter Flinth
with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Joe Cole, Sam Redford, Ed Speleers, Gísli Örn Garðarsson, Frankie Wilson, Diarmaid Murtagh, Heida Reed, Charles Dance
Iceland / Denmark 2021 English 101’ Colour


  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Ejnar Mikkelsen)
  • Joe Cole (Iver P. Iversen)
  • Sam Redford (Laub)
  • Ed Speleers (Bessel)
  • Gísli Örn Garðarsson (Jorgensen)
  • Frankie Wilson (Unger)
  • Diarmaid Murtagh (Poulsen)
  • Heida Reed (Naja)
  • Charles Dance (Neergaard)


Director Peter Flinth
Screenplay Joe Derrick, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Cinematography Torben Forsberg
Editing Morten Höjbjerg
Music Volker Bertelmann
Sound Kjartan Kjartansson
Production Design Atli Geir Grétarsson
Costumes Margrét Einarsdóttir
Make-Up Sophie Davina Susan King, Kristín Júlla Kristjánsdóttir, Ragna Fossberg
Assistant Director Harpa Elísa Þórsdóttir
Production Manager Agúst Hauksson
Producers Baltasar Kormákur, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Co-Producers Magnús Viðar Sigurðsson, Agnes Johansen
Co-Production RVK Studios Reykjavík

Peter Flinth

Born in 1964, the director studied film and media at Copenhagen University and the National Film School of Denmark. He has made several feature-film adaptations of novels by Scandinavian authors including ARN – The Knight Templar from the eponymous trilogy by Swedish writer Jan Guillou; Mastermind, from the Wallander novels by Henning Mankell; Nobel’s Last Will, from the novel by Liza Marklund and Beatles from the novel by the Norwegian author Lars Saabye Christensen. His debut feature film, Eye of the Eagle, was presented at the 1997 Berlinale in the Kinderfilmfest, the precursor of the Generation section.


1997 Ørnens øje (Eye of the Eagle) 2000 Rejseholdet (Unit One); TV series, two episodes 2002 Olsen Banden Junior (Olsen Gang Junior) 2004 Fakiren fra Bilbao (The Fakir) 2005 Mastermind; TV movie in the “Wallander” series 2007 Arn: Tempelriddaren (Arn – The Knight Templar) 2008 Arn: Riket vid vägens slut (Arn – The Kingdom at the End of the Road) 2009 De vilde svaner (The Wild Swans); co-director: Ghita Nørby 2010 Arn; miniseries, 6 episodes 2012 A Place in the Sun; TV movie · Nobel’s Last Will 2014 Beatles 2021 Against the Ice

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022