Review: The Accord

Review: The Accord

A Truly Icelandic Surf Film

The search is one of the most romantised aspects of surfing. Images of road trips, paper maps and perfect, hidden lines found in barely reachable coves at the end of dirt tracks dominate the daydreams of surfers and non-surfers alike.

Except in reality, the search is also the wait. We’d all rather be surfing in pretty much every given moment – but whether there is a wave/swell/favourable wind direction is another matter. Surfing is a waiting game. The thing that makes surfing special is the fact so many conditions and variables have to align to allow it to happen in the first place. This is also the thing that makes it so frustrating.

No one understands this more than Icelandic surfer Heiðar Logi Elíasson:

The reality of growing up a surfer in Iceland is different from anywhere else in the world. It’s a harsh place. There are no surf shops, guidebooks or webcams.

Together with Elli Thor Magnusson, The Accord’s Writer and Producer, Heiðar endeavours to show not only the trials and tribulations of being a surfer on the edge of global surf culture, shown expertly with a juxtaposition of a screen showing bikini clad beach babes and boardshort wearing bros with a snowy window in the background, but also the biggest challenge all Icelandic surfers face daily. This guy.

 The North Atlantic Wind.

The personification of the North Wind is one of the most unique and endearing aspects of The Accord. It brings the perfect touch of humour and humanity to an element that has tested many and allows the film to capture the dry, determination of cold water surfers across the world when dancing with the elements and searching for the perfect combination of conditions.  After all,

You never know what the bastard’s up to

The drunkard wind is not the only thing that marks The Accord as more than just another surf movie. The inclusion of the spectacular landscapes and endless possibilities Iceland offers makes The Accord as unique as the country that produced it. Wandering through waterfalls, long boarding down winding, empty tarmacked roads and exploring the glaciers that distinguish the land… Heiðar and Elli ignite a wanderlust for the outdoors better than any board of tourism.

This inclusion of Iceland itself goes beyond visuals of its stunning geography.  The ethos of the film’s crew when creating the movie was to capture Icelandic culture as well as Icelandic waves. Director RC Cone felt that an integral part of making The Accord was its Icelandic ‘feel’:

most of the visuals we see come out of Iceland are American or Euro centric. I loved the idea of being able to tell a story uniquely based in that part of the world, written by someone from there.

Even the film’s soundtrack strengthens the film’s identity as an Icelandic surf movie.

A compilation of Icelandic reggae, electro and folk music, The Accord’s soundtrack is as varied as the North Wind’s temperament but used skilfully to accentuates each scene without drawing attention away from it. Like the surfers' compromise with the wind, the balance between story, sound and scenery within The Accord creates the perfect conditions for a cold water experience to remember.

The Accord is ultimately a film about the search in surfing but its combination of storytelling, witty narration, stunning visuals and an astute soundtrack create a movie that is so much more than a sum of its parts. Part comedy, part journal and part adventure documentary, The Accord is wholly unique as well worth exploring. In fact, it may be the perfect way to occupy your own wait whilst the wind has his way…

Find out more about the team and ideas behind the movie on Medium here.

Nomadic writer and designer