Reviews: Against the Current

Here are some of the excellent reviews the documentary has received so far:

Outlet/Publication: Los Angeles Times

• “ ‘Against the Current’ is a gem. It’s gorgeous in many ways.”

• “The images of Iceland’s beauty are breathtaking. The document of Grétarsdóttir’s feat is exhausting (in a good way). You come out feeling you’ve learned about the rigors of kayaking and the courage any such journey demands.”

• “Director and cinematographer Óskar Páll Sveinsson has complete command of the story, never tangling its threads.”

• “The film also has endearing supporting characters and memorable scenes described by interviewees.”

• “While Hollywood comes to realize what a moving narrative film and fantastic opportunity for a trans actor an adaptation could be (with the stipulation they keep the atmospheric music by Högni Egilsson), the awards-giving bodies should save a blank on their ballots for this one.”

Outlet/Publication: Out Traveler
Headline: What happens when a trans woman attempts to be the first person to solo circumnavigate Iceland in a kayak — against the current?
Writer: Jacob Anderson-Minshall
Date: June 23, 2021

Pull quotes:

  • “The new documentary, Against the Current, chronicles the efforts of an Icelandic woman, Veiga Grétarsdóttir, as she attempts to become the first person in history to solo circumnavigate her native land in a kayak while paddling against the current. She happens to be transgender. The comparison with summiting one of the world’s highest peaks isn’t just hyperbole.”
  • “There’s a point in the film where Grétarsdóttir is centered on the screen. She talks about kayaking alongside Látrabjarg, the largest seabird cliff in Iceland and one of Europe’s biggest. It is home to millions of birds (many of them puffins). The camera zooms out and the drone flies farther and farther out to sea. Grétarsdóttir becomes nothing but a tiny spec in the frame — and still we cannot see the top of the cliff. It’s a very powerful scene, even when viewed on a small screen. Like viewers of the best adventure documentaries, we are humbled by the majesty of nature.”
  • “Her longest day is 13 hours of dipping paddles into water, over and over. Thirteen long hours alone with her thoughts, and the omnipresent landmass of Iceland which, with its dramatic scenery, is the other big star in this documentary film.”

Outlet/Publication: Film Threat
Headline: Against the Current
Writer: Ray Lobo
Date: June 23, 2021
Pull quotes:

  • “a gripping story”
  • “Sveinsson magnificently captures Iceland’s natural beauty as Grétarsdóttir paddles along rugged Icelandic coastlines, getting glimpses of landscapes that few can experience in person. Sveinsson presents, in all its sublimity, the sea’s beauty, and deadly treachery, taking a loving, caring approach to Grétarsdóttir’s tale.”
  • “Against the Current shows that the possibilities are unlimited.”


Outlet/Publication: Unseen Films
Headline: Brief thoughts on AGAINST THE CURRENT (2021) opens Friday in NYC and LA
Writer: Steve Kopian
Date: June 22, 2021
Pull quotes:

  • “Full of great images…”
  • “There are some great sequences there and a sense of real danger that keep us on the edge of our seat.”
  • “…a great story with some spectacular images which makes it a recommended film, more so if you are jonesing for something atypical and off Hollywood.”