Updated: Jan 16, 2020
THE LONG FRIDAY is a documentary-in-progress capturing a transformative moment in Iceland’s history.
Three years ago, on a family trip to Iceland, I was leafing through Lonely Planet’s Guide to Iceland and a story leapt off the page: one crisp Fall day in 1975, 90% of Iceland’s women walked off the job and out of their homes – and brought their country to its knees. This “Women’s Day Off” began a transformation that has catapulted Iceland to the forefront of today’s push for gender equality.
“Women’s Day Off” demonstration Reykjavik, Iceland | October 24, 1975
I’m a documentary filmmaker, and I thought someone must have already made a film about this amazing story! But they hadn’t. So, I wrote a proposal and won a small foundation grant to get started. And now, we’ve had two wonderful shoots in Iceland with some of the unstoppable women behind this untold moment of history, including a rare interview with Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, the world’s first democratically elected female president.
Vigdís Finnbogadóttir with director Pamela Hogan | November 2017
Our film-in-progress, THE LONG FRIDAY, is a true US-Icelandic collaboration. Co-produced with Reykjavik-based Krumma Films, and advised by several leading Icelandic scholars, all of the filmed material will be donated at the end of the project to the Women’s History Archives at the University of Iceland where it will become a permanent part of the country’s historical record.
The story resonates deeply for me because my sister and I were raised by a single mom, a writer for a Boston ad agency, who discovered she had been striving to support our family on half the wages the men in her office earned for the same job. She became the first Director of Massachusetts’ National Organization for Women; and in 1972, as a high school student, I spent afternoons with her at the Massachusetts State House, lobbying for passage of our own Equal Rights Amendment. We had no idea that 3,000 miles away, on an island in the North Atlantic, the women of Iceland were dreaming up – and pulling off – a gender revolution that would eclipse our own and continue to this day.
This is such an exciting moment, from the #metoo and Time’s Up movements to the unprecedented numbers of women running for political office in the U.S., and we believe that sharing women’s stories and documenting their impact on society is more important than ever. But we must move quickly to capture the voices of these Icelandic women to ensure that their story will be told and shared with audiences all over the world!
Fundraising for a major shoot this spring is now underway. To see a trailer, and to make a tax-deductible donation to the project, please visit: www.thelongfriday.com
And, if you or someone you know was there in 1975 – we want to know your story! We will be interviewing more people as production continues and would love to hear from you. To share some of your memories, please email us.
Thanks to Sunna, Icelandic Roots, and to all of you, from all of us on THE LONG FRIDAY team who are trying to get this inspiring story out into the world.
-- Pamela Hogan | Director | The Long Friday | Email us