Iceland is a place of mysticism and mystery. There’s a magic in the land which is almost palpable, and the supernatural is part of everyday life.
It had been a long time bucket list destination for Arcade director Rob Smith and his girlfriend Storm Bissict. When they finally made the trip in September this year, it exceeded every expectation they arrived with.
“There’s something truly unforgettable about the first glimpses of Iceland from the air – the black coastlines, endless mountain ranges, and arctic blue glaciers,” they recount. “From Keflavic Airport it’s a short bus ride through an ancient lava field to the capital, Reykavik – a vibrant and first world city, which somehow manages to retain a sense of small town charm and quirkiness.”
The Icelandic people are warm, welcoming and always happy to share a tale or two. In Reykjavik Rob and Storm stayed in guest house known as the Centric Guesthouse where the owner, Orvar, took them through an old map of Iceland. The stories he joyfully shared were what inspired Rob to make a video around the local’s ideas and beliefs, which he titled ‘We Are Not Alone’. The spectacular footage is accompanied by voice excerpts from the documentary ‘Investigation Into the Invisible World’.
Throughout their travels Rob and Storm were taken aback by the natural landscapes, so raw and untainted they seemed surreal. “It’s no wonder the Icelandic people have such an enduring belief in all things mystical,” they observe. The people use myths and folktales about the “nature spirits” or the “hidden folk” to account for what they feel science has failed to explain. These tales are fascinating whether you believe in them or not – there’s a story behind everything; every mountain, every river. As one voice in the film notes, “The secret of Iceland lies in nature, which is like a large book we must decipher”.