Where Was It Shot? Flags Of Our Fathers - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Where Was It Shot? Flags Of Our Fathers

Where Was It Shot? Flags Of Our Fathers

Published September 8, 2017

Zoë Vala Sands
Photos by
Flags Of Our Fathers

Apparently, the next best setting for Joe Rosenthal’s famous Iwo Jima photograph was our own volcanic island—specifically, on the Reykjanes peninsula. Clint Eastwood is on top of his game in the film ‘Flags Of Our Fathers.’ He did a pretty excellent job of adapting James Bradley’s 2000 New York Times bestseller to the screen. Like the novel, the film follows the tales of the six flag raisers on Mount Suribachi, depicted in Rosenthal’s famous photograph.

I was expecting another Fuck-Yeah-America war propaganda film, but I must say, this one was more of a reminder of the apparent love-hate relationship the U.S. has with its army veterans. As far as U.S. war movies go, the film does a good job of questioning historical narratives of truth, and reveals the danger of glorifying survivors of war as superheroes, as was done with regard to the battle of Iwo Jima.

Regardless of what you think of the history or the film, there’s no denying that Iceland is looking on fleek in this film. Picture this: hunky marines running through ominous oceans and up long stretches of distinctive black sand. The scene is war ‘Baywatch,’ basically.

It also features a bunch of Icelanders cast as “uncredited soldiers” and “wounded marines.” Sometimes it’s useful to have extras who are up for jumping into the freakishly cold Atlantic ocean. As an Icelander, you might watch the film and go: “Oh hey, it’s that guy I almost asked out.” Maybe satisfying… or maybe not.


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