A three-time Golden Globe-nominated director Luca Guadagnino has announced film adaptation of Burial Rites, starring Jennifer Lawrence as Agnes Magnúsdóttir. The film is an adaptation of the award-winning novel from 2013 by the Australian author Hannah Kent’s, Burial Rites.
Hannah was a foreign exchange student in Skagafjörður at the age 17. That is where she first heard the story of Agnes Magnúsdóttir. Hannah spent two years researching the story–gathering more information and artifacts to work from. The story is about Agnes Magnúsdóttir the last woman to be executed in Iceland. The execution was on the 12th of January 1830, at Vatndalshólum (Water valley hills) in West – Húnavatssýsla (Cub water county)
Agnes was a servant in the northern countryside of Iceland known as Geitaskarð (Goat gap).
She was described as a talented, clever and well-spoken, but of no one praised her looks. At the age of 30 she met Natan, a landowner of Illhugastaðir (bad thought place) and a known womanizer, who at first fell for Agnes and hired her. Agnes thought this was her chance to become more than a servant. She was shocked when Natan married a 16-year-old girl name Sigríður instead.
Friðrik, a boy in love with Sigríður, made Agnes and Sigríður hide him until Natan was asleep. Later that night, on the 13th of March 1828, he stabbed Natan and a traveler staying with him named Pétur Jónsson. Agnes and Friðrik then set his home on fire. This little love triangle escalated into one of Iceland’s most awful murders. For their crimes they lost their heads.
While Sigríður was pardoned by the king of Denmark and sent to slavery forever.
There are a few theories surrounding why Friðrik murdered Natan and Pétur.
1. He driven mad with envy and the pressure led to him murdering Natan.
2. He was coerced by his mother for money.
3. Agnes and Sigríður convinced him that Natan was violent.
The case was re-visited again in the summer of 2017. They decided that if this was to have happened today the women would have gotten a minimum murder charges as they were victim of sexual and domestic abuse.
Agnes would have gotten 14 years prison, Sigríður 5 years and Friðrik 7 years. They would have been acquitted of the arson but convicted of murder and theft.
“When Agnes acknowledge that Nathan was dead she said that he would now not “laspúvara” himself towards any women again. “ What laspúvara means nobody can agree on.