The mystery reels fished up by lobster fishermen in Faxaflói bay earlier this month are from a Soviet film from 1968. Staff at the National Film Archive of Iceand have dried the films and examined them in recent days.
Erlendur Sveinsson, director of the Archive, told RÚV, “I saw right away that I would be able to retrieve frames from it. I selected a few and posted them on our Facebook page. And I was hoping someone would notice.”
Then the decision was made to scan two reels we had managed to dry and watch them.
“I found that hard to believe, that we had obtained films from the bottom of the ocean, that we had dried them, scanned them, and were able to watch them and examine them.”
Once Erlendur and his coworkers watched the film, they realized it was from the Soviet Union. “But how old it was and such, that was of course unclear.”
Today the puzzle was solved. The movie does not date back to World War II, but to the Cold War.
The mystery unraveling. Photo: The National Film Archive of Iceland/Facebook.
It was Mikhail Timofeev who pointed this out on the Archives’ Facebook page today. Mikhail, who lives in Iceland, saw the film, called Derevenskij detekviv, as a child. The title, meaning Country Cop, dates back to 1968, and is about Sergeant Aniskin and his work in a small town.
The film find has created considerable attention. The Russian Embassy sent the film archive in Moscow an inquiry about the film, and the International Federation of Film Archives sent a message to all its 162 members, hoping to be able to identify the movie.
How the Soviet policeman landed at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean remains a mystery. Perhaps he was thrown off a Soviet ship.