Quake: A treat for all psychological drama lovers

A excellent Icelandic psychological mystery that unfolds unexpectedly over time

Sarah Morgan
2 min readNov 20, 2021


Credit: Alief./Ursus Parvus

Quake is a compelling psychological mystery, starring Anita Briem (as Saga) and Edda Björgvinsdóttir (Dídí, Saga’s mother). However, do not expect high octane suspense from this slow paced, thoughtfully written and acted Icelandic drama.

Based on the best-selling novel, Grand Mal/Quake: A Novel, by Audur Jonsdóttir was nominated for the Icelandic Literary prize and picked out by Toronto International Film Festival as one of their 2021 Industry Selects.

This film is not an easy watch and may make you feel uneasy. It contains some very life like representations of epilepsy, as the main character Saga Briem, a single mother, suffers from a fierce epileptic attack walking in a public park with her six-year-old son resulting in a total memory loss.

A thought provoking and uncomfortable film unfolds as she struggles with the aftermath.

With so many simplified representations of mental health conditions on screen, this is a very well researched and sensitive piece of film making.

It has been beautifully acted by all parties and there is some great cinematography to really round the film off.

There are some interesting and heart-rending twists and turns to the plot, so though slow to unravel it is by no means a boring watch.

Thoroughly recommended for drama lovers, go and be moved.

Quake premiered at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival on November 20th.



Sarah Morgan

I am an experienced journalist. My first joint book on mental health recovery was published in 2011. I was short-listed for aviation journalism awards in 2010.