Reykjavik Rising


During the last week the citizens of Iceland have been outraged with dishonest and hypocritical politicians. Since the Panama Papers revealed that their, now former, Prime Minister and other politicians have been using offshore firms to avoid tax payments people have been protesting the government and calling for immediate elections.

The Monday demonstration gathered 23 000 people, which is possibly the largest demonstration in the history of Iceland, a small nation with a population of 330 000 people. But this is not the first time in recent years they stage massive protests. In October 2008 Iceland was hit with one of the biggest financial disasters any nation in the world had experienced. In response, citizens took to the streets creating what is now known as the “Pots and Pans Revolution.”

This beautiful and moving documentary depicts and analyzes what happened the last time the Icelanders got fed up with their politicians, the political system, and the banking system. Filled with insightful and engaged people, this film is a MUST SEE!

In response to widespread media silence and a growing global trend towards people-led movements, the documentary explores how and why the people of Iceland resisted the measures imposed by their government following the crisis of 2008 and how they forced their government to resign in an attempt to forge a new political path.

Òlafur Páll 

“They [the orange ribbons] destroyed this dynamism, by calling for some sort of middle class, christian values and sensibility, you know. It was the last values that we needed at that time. We needed to take the situation further and further, to the extent of our capacity.” - Òlafur Páll

Filmed in Reykjavik between 2012 and 2014, the documentary meets the instigators of the revolution and follows the most important National Referendum in Iceland’s history. Giving the Icelandic people the opportunity to decide whether to support a constitution that had been created through a popular grassroots movement. Through this we explore the Icelanders' story of their nation and their revolution but also what lessons can be learned globally from their experiences.

Katrin Oddsdóttir

“This big lie about people not being able to participate in their own decision-making, which is very convenient for those in power to make us believe, is crumpling now. And I think, people are slowly but surely realizing, all over the globe, that this is not going to work out anymore.” - Katrin Oddsdóttir

In light of a growing international trend towards grassroots movements crossing over into mainstream politics, this documentary is a timely portrayal of one such movement and their struggle to change the face of democracy.

Police and protesters in Reykjavik

Police and protesters in Reykjavik during the "Pots and Pans Revolution."

Editorial comment: In the wake of the 2008 crisis many new grassroots organisations and political parties were formed. One of them was Alda – The Association for Sustainability and Democracy. Learn more about them in this interview with Hjalti Hrafn Hafthorsson.