You'll never see politics the same! Following his country's economic meltdown, in 2009 acerbic Icelandic comedian Jon Gnarr launches his own political party, The Best Party. His platform? Build a Disneyland, put more polar bears in the zoo, economize by hiring only one Santa during the holidays, and oust from the government anyone who hasn't seen The Wire. It starts out as a joke, but when support for Gnarr's wacky mayoral bid surprisingly snowballs, a group of rebels and punk rockers quickly captures the imagination of a nation desperate for a release from the corruption that nearly brought on its collapse.
An outspoken outsider artist himself, first-time director Gaukur Úlfarsson strikes just the right balance of raucous energy and candid behind-the-scenes campaign coverage to capture both the zany humor and earnest appetite for change at the heart of Gnarr, his fellow Best Party members, and the country they love. Crisp cinematography and invigorating music (including Björk's early band The Sugarcubes, with whom Gnarr once toured) add to the unlikely atmosphere of hope Gnarr's frankness creates. Imagine if the kids who hung around outside CBGB in the late '70s were suddenly entrusted to run New York. Sounds impossible…?
Director's Statement Collapse
I started filming Jon Gnarr (the leader of the party and the main character of the film) on the very first day of his campaign. Jon being idolized in Iceland for his dark humor and unpredictability and me being one of his longtime fans, I saw this as an opportunity that I could not let slip through my hands. So with no money at all and a slight hunch that this might become something big, I put together a small team of camera and sound men who shared my feeling and were willing to take the risk with me, because even if we wouldn't get paid, we would still have a great time shooting it.
I wanted to create an old school documentary, a documentary as pure and true to its "fly on the wall" concept as the old Maysles brother's movies Salesman and Grey Gardens. So I never interviewed anyone, just let the camera roll and people talk to each other. No overdubs or retakes, just pure documentation. This technique proved to be very effective, it made people less camera-aware and made me stay out of the way of trying to steer the story into a certain direction. At first, I had a certain Idea how the story would develop, but as time passed I saw it in a totally new light. I started seeing it as being an incredibly inspirational story of a man, so fed up with all the negativity and hopelessness in his countrymen, as well as being tired of not being able to trust any politician or believe anything that they said, that he found it necessary to stand up and take matters in his own hands. This is the movie that proves that anything is possible, if you just believe!