Dr Emily Lethbridge is breathing new life and understanding into the centuries-old Sagas of Icelanders (Íslendingasögur) during a unique year-long research trip – conducted from the back of a decommissoned Land Rover ambulance.
The beauty and brutality of Iceland‘s breathtaking landscapes, so closely linked to the stories in the sagas, has been captured in a stunning new documentary film released today by Cambridge University. The sagas were copied in manuscripts in Iceland from the medieval period until the early 20th century, and the stories were passed down from one generation to another over many hundreds of years.
The film, produced and directed by Patrick Chadwick, is part of the Cambridge Ideas series, commissioned to publicise the University‘s groundbreaking research, both in the UK and around the world.
Since January Dr Lethbridge has been criss-crossing the Icelandic countryside to investigate the deep-rooted significance of the sagas to Icelanders today, visiting the actual settings in which each is based. By the time her research trip comes to an end in December this year, she hopes to have visited most of the 30 plus Islendingasögur sites.
The film demonstrates how one saga has a continuing hold on local people’s imaginations with Icelanders describing the characters as friends and talking of the ongoing pride they have in both the protagonists and the landscapes in which the sagas take place.
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