7.4/10
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Pathfinder (1987)

Ofelas (original title)
Around the year 1000 AD warlike people, the so-called "tjuder", roam in northern Scandinavia. As they brutally kill a family in a remote area, including the parents and their little ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Aigin
Ingvald Guttorm ...
Aigin's Father
Nils Utsi ...
Raste
Henrik H. Buljo ...
Dorakas
Nils-Aslak Valkeapää ...
Siida-Isit
Helgi Skúlason ...
Tsjuderen med arret
Inger Utsi ...
Aigin's Sister
Svein Scharffenberg ...
Tsjuderen, høvding
Knut Walle ...
Tchude Interpreter
John Sigurd Kristensen ...
Tchude Strongman
Sara Marit Gaup ...
Sahve
Anna Maria Blind ...
Varia (as Anne-Marja Blind)
Ellen Anne Buljo ...
Aigin's Mother
Svein Birger Olsen ...
Diemis
Sverre Porsanger ...
Sierge
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Storyline

Around the year 1000 AD warlike people, the so-called "tjuder", roam in northern Scandinavia. As they brutally kill a family in a remote area, including the parents and their little daughter, the families teenage son, Aigin, observes the slaughter. He manages to flee from these killers and reaches a camp with other Lapps whose inhabitants are worried if he has been able to hide his track. Afraid of the murderous people, they decide to flee to the coast. The boy stays alone to avenge his families murder. Unfortunately, they get him before he can do anything and force him to lead them to the other Lapps. He guides them but has a plan to destroy the barbarous people before reaching the camp. Written by Gerhard Windecker <g.wind@mbox300.swipnet.se>

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Release Date:

7 April 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pathfinder  »

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(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The villains in the film, the "tjuder", are not supposed to vikings as some sources claim. Tjud or chud is a term historically applied in the early Russian annals to several Finnic peoples. They often appear in Sami stories (like the one which this film is based on) as traditional, generic villains. Vikings where a trade among the Norse (Scandinavian) Germanic tribes. Note that the clothing and weaponry of the "tjuder" in the film are very different from the ones used by viking. The script actually stated the "tjuder" to be eastern. But the filmmakers felt it would be offensive to Russian viewers so they made up a language for them to speak, making their origin rather vague. See more »

Quotes

Raste: Were you sleeping?
Aigin: Wish I could.
Raste: Why can't you? Scared of the dark?
[Aigin nods positively]
Raste: At daybreak, head for the cost. There are other villages there.
Aigin: Not for me. I have no village.
Raste: Your mind is clouded with thoughts of revenge. You must remember we are all but parts of the whole. We are children in a greater family. The Tchudes have forgotten this. Don't you forget it.
Aigin: My family is dead. I'm all alone.
Raste: You may feel that way, but you are bound up in the greater family. You are not free, ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Áigin (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Truly excellent!
14 July 2002 | by (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews

Every once in a while, a true gem pops up unexpectedly. This story based on a legend from the Lapps, or Saami, is just such a case in point. Everything in it works. The elements of folklore and the mythic journey come together in an amazing tale of a young man's journey to manhood and redemption. The most amazing thing about this film, however, is its realization in the cultural context from which it belongs. This is a Saami legend, told in the Saami language and Saami actors giving us a deep drink of their rich culture. The scenery is breathtaking in its stark, snow-white beauty. The tale is brutal but life in the circumpolar region we knew as Lappland was often brutal and unforgiving. This is a hearty tale of a hardy people and while it focuses on the journey and heroic adventure of a young man, it is also very much a tale of the Saami people, many of whom still follow their reindeer herds across that barren, frozen landscape today. The film is wonderful in its simplicity and honesty. There are no high dramatic moments, no cars flying across the screen, no explosions with smoke and fire billowing into the air and no open-mouth noisy smooching. As one reviewer noted, Disney, Lucas and Spielberg could well take lessons from this film. It is simply excellent and merely greatly wonderful. My only regret as an anthropologist who specialized in working with pastoral nomads, was that I never worked with the Saami or the Tibetans [viewers who liked this film should also check out Himalaya, for a similar way of life on the other side of the world from the Saami]


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