A Documentary Film on a birth of an Island

A Film by Helga Brekkan and Torgny Nordin

An unexpected submarine eruption south of Iceland created an island, Surtsey, and changed our perception of the Earth. The Black Island is the epic Saga of Surtsey. The film depicts the evolution of life and our fascination and fear of the world´s untamed and still unknown forces. Using unique archive material and new films from visits to the Black Island.

Just before dawn on the 14th. of November 1963;

The crew of the fishing boat Isleifur suddenly feels

strong currents in the ocean and observes how

flames and smoke rises our of the waves - the

dramatic birth of the Black island has begun. A

thousand days later the volcanic eruption comes

to an end.

Today Surtsey is the place on Earth most similar

to the Moon. Only a few scientists may visit the

island. One of them is Sturla Fridriksson, 80 years,

and leader of many scientific expeditions to Surtsey:

"One always finds hidden treasures there, it´s

truly a magical island".

Further info on Surtsey

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Supported by

The Icelandic Film Centre

Broadcast on SVT Sweden, NRK Norway and RUV Iceland.


Ecocinema Information Section  Greece 2004. Icelandic Nature in Moving Pictures 2004.

Watch the Trailer.

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The Black Island

Surtsey is a natural property on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Free from human interference, Surtsey has been producing unique long-term information on the colonisation process of new land by plant and animal life.

Directed and written by Helga Brekkan

and Torgny Nordin

Produced by  Helga Brekkan and

Hjálmtýr Heiddal

Director of Photography: Mischa Gavrjusjov

Edited by Steinþór Birgisson

Music by Guðmundur Pétursson

Duration: 45 minutes

Released: 2003

Production companies: Seylan Film Production and

SEE-Film Stockholm, Sweden