Movies Traditions

Glíma: Icelandic Folk Wrestling

I first learned about glíma, a unique form of Icelandic folk wrestling, from the the short film by Grímur Hákonarson called Bræðrabylta. The story focuses on two gay men in rural Iceland, whose primary way of acknowledging their affection for each other is through glíma. I was immediately struck by how different it looked from other forms of wrestling; opponents grasp each other’s waists in a pose that invokes dancing more than fighting. It was perfect for the plot of the film, and made me want to learn more about this variant of the sport.