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Max von Sydow,
Sverre Anker Ousdal,
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
An intimate portrait of complicity, a marriage and an artist that shouldn't be missed.
The extraordinary Max von Sydow stars in this terrific film about the fine line between complicity and collaboration in the life of a Noble Prize winning writer from Norway during the Nazi occupation. But this film is also so much more than that: it is a film about the complex and heart-wrenching relations between the writer, his wife and their children. Like "The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl," this film asks where we draw the line in holding artists responsible for their art and actions in an oft confusing world. But it takes that question a step further in examining how his art may also have cost him his relationships with his wife and children.
This is a beautifully filmed, well-acted movie; a true character study of the inner lives of a family, particularly Knut Hamsun and his wife, Marie, evocatively portrayed by Ghita Norby. It is a subtle and slow-paced film in true Scandinavian fashion and von Sydow again shows us why he will be remembered of one of the finest actors of cinema's first 100 years. I highly recommend it, and for those who are interested in other movies dealing with this theme, especially as it relates to artists, so often regarded as naive regarding politics and how they are may be used and manipulated for political gain, I highly recommend "Mother Night," the aforementioned documentary about Riefenstahl, and "Mephisto."
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