If the words occupation, apartheid and racism (not to mention Palestinian citizens of Israel, bantustans, ethnic cleansing and Nakba) are absent from Israeli discourse, Israeli citizens can spend their whole lives without knowing what they have been living with. Take racismGiz’anut ( in Hebrew). If the Israeli parliament legislates that 13 per cent of the country’s lands can be sold only to Jews, then it is a racist parliament. If in 60 years the country has had only one Arab minister, then Israel has had racist governments. If in 60 years of demonstrations rubber bullets and live ammunition have been used only on Arab demonstrators, then Israel has a racist police. If 75 per cent of Israelis admit that they would refuse to have an Arab neighbour, then it is a racist society. By not acknowledging that Israel is a place where racism shapes relations between Jews and Arabs, Israeli Jews render themselves unable to deal with the problem or even with the reality of their own lives.
– Yonatan Mendel, Diary
‘Heima’ (Icelandic for “at home” or “homeland”), truly, shows Sigur Rós as never before. Whereas seeing the group live is normally a large-scale and sometimes overwhelming experience, making full use of lights and mesmeric visuals, ‘Heima’ was always intended to reveal more of what was actually going on on stage. it does this via long-held close-ups and a rare intimate proximity, without ever once breaking the spell.
Loosely based on a documentary format – and including personal reflections from the band – ‘Heima’ also serves as an alternative primer for Iceland the country, which is revealed as less stag destination-du-jour and more desolate, magical place where human beings have little right to trespass.
‘Heima’ features performances of songs from all four Sigur Rós albums, many radically reworked, as well as two exclusive new songs in ‘guitardjamm’, which was filmed inside an abandoned herring oil tank in the far west of the country, and the traditional ‘a ferd til breidarfjardar 1922’, performed with poet Steindor Andersen.