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A large family is going to the mountain for their christmas vacation, in a rented cabin. Problems occur on Christmas Eve when the father gets drunk and his alcohol problem comes to show. We get to learn a lot about the family's background, and secrets are revealed. If you look behind the curtain, they've got a whole other story to tell than what it looks from the outside. Written by
Daniel Flathagen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Når nettene blir lange" starts with a rather chaotic introduction of it's main characters. It is chaotic in the way that we don't get introduced properly to anyone, instead it's just short cuts of a lot of stressed people. All these stressed people turn out to be a family; husbands, wives, parents and children (and a dog), on their way to a rented traditional Norwegian cottage for their yuletide celebration. But what is intended to be a nice family gathering and joining of it's new and old members turn out to be quite the opposite. The problems get piled up one onto the other; the cottage lacks of laid on water and electricity (it being a traditional Norwegian cottage and all) which seems to be a bit of an annoyance to the visiting Polish mother; one of the kids have a rather bad asthma problem, which are getting no better thanks to the dog running about the cottage; the good old "father of the family" has a bit of a problem with the concept of seeing alcohol and not drinking it, instantaneously. These problems and others, smaller and bigger ones, end up in a family Christmas dinner like one you've (hopefully) never experienced before.
I was a bit perplexed at the beginning of the film. Not only didn't I get hold on any of the characters, but the whole film looked a bit "amateurish" and possibly more like a documentary. Still as the film went on in the same mode I got to understand the genius of it. By luring us - the audience - to viewing the film as an amateur documentary it captures us in the realness of the film; this could have been "my" family. By doing this the culmination of the film gets closer to us and buggers us all the more.
As a Dogme film it is natural to compare it to other Dogme films, both in it's way of filming and storytelling. It is without doubt a close cousin of the Danish Dogme "Festen", and if you've seen either you are guaranteed to at least enjoy the other as well. I would also like to compare it a bit with the first "Blair witch project" film. Although far from being the same genre of film I think this comparison may explain the "amateurishness" I was speaking about.
As a final comment I would strongly recommend this film! And do not turn it off if you're, like I was, a bit perplexed after the first half-hour or so because you have to watch the whole film to really enjoy it.
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