Knut Hamsun is Norway's most famous and admired author. Ever since he was young he has hated the English for the starvation they caused Norway during WWI. When the Germans occupy Norway on ... See full summary »
Knut Hamsun is Norway's most famous and admired author. Ever since he was young he has hated the English for the starvation they caused Norway during WWI. When the Germans occupy Norway on April 9, 1940, he welcomes them and the protection they can give from Great Britain. He supports the national socialist ideals, but opposes the way these ideals are turned into action - that Norwegians are jailed and executed. His wife Marie travels in Germany during the war as a sign of support from Knut and herself. Written by
One of the elements that make this film one of the most fascinating ever made is the use of language... while Knut and Marie Hamsun were Norwegians, Max von Sydow and Ghita Nørby speak Swedish and Danish respectively throughout the movie. To those not well-versed in Scandinavian languages, there is a very big difference. Most Swedes cannot understand more than 20% of spoken Danish and perhaps 60% of Norwegian. To make the comparison easier to grasp, imagine a Spanish movie where the main characters speak Portuguese and Italian. I don't know why this linguistic device was used, but the effect is remarkable. At first I figured it was a way to distance Norwegians from the main characters whom were regarded as traitors, but that theory doesn't hold since the character who plays Quisling (the man who "sold" Nazism to many Norwegians) speaks Norwegian throughout the film.
Trivia: throughout Scandinavia the name "Quisling" is not just synonymous with "back-stabber"... it has actually become a commonplace word and is found in most dictionaries. It is comparative to the phrase "his name is Mudd" in the U.S.
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