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With his family struggling to survive in late1890s Norway and his father leaving on a ship for America to earn much needed money, 10-year-old Yohan devises some plans of his own to help his family. However, his jealous older brother has other ideas, and, unbeknown to their parents, he signs a contract with an agent for Yohan to become a farm laborer. Now consigned to being a child wanderer, Yohan is sent off to work on a faraway farm providing cheap labor. Yohan embarks on a long, rugged journey filled with danger, loneliness and feelings of abandonment. Along the way, he meets up with two other child wanderers, 8 year-old Anna and her younger brother. Together with other child wanderers and led by the menacing boy Aslak, the group makes its way on foot through the countryside with Yohan finally arriving at the farm where he is told to work. He becomes a shepherd boy, protecting the farmer's livestock from wolves and grizzly bears. His boss, Nome, is a harsh disciplinarian and a tough... Written by
Penelope Films (production company)
In the 1890s, 10-year-old Yohan is sent away from home to survive on his own as a child laborer. He experiences hardships and overcomes his fears by relying on bravery and hope to make the best of his circumstances.
Contrieved and bad film which will only engage children
I know this is a children's or a family film, but still I think these usually has a lot to offer even for grown ups. The reason I sat down to watch this, is as a research for use in education. And it's possible to use for children's school, let's say up to 6th of 7th degree, not very much older. Then the storytelling, the instruction and the acting is too contrived and staged. I simply must say I'm rather shocked that a film so bad can be put out in Norway nowadays, when film making has reached such a great level. This us bad and I'll try to explain way.
First of all, this is based upon historical facts, back in the late 1800s when Norway, now world's richest country according to UN, was one of Rutope's poorest. The lack of foods in the harsh winter was so severe that poor farmers had to sell their children to wandering tradesmen to earn enough, and to have fewer mouths to feed out of a children's flock. Often many children, due to no contraceptives, of course. And children back then was a guarantee in being taken care of in older days.
It's told in a incoherent way by an old man (Kris Krstofferson) at a party after New York marathon. A story which is filmed by a TV-crew for two hours. Something that never would have happen in real life.
This could have been such a great movie. The plot is terrific, and also very interesting history in more than one use. But even with a rather big budget of 41 million Norwegian crowns, and a use of a lot of good actors, the instruction is simply horrific.
The likes of Kris Kristofferson, Dennis Storhøi and Jørgen Langhelle doesn't stand a chance with such bad instruction. It's supposed to be funny, of easy gong in an American way, but I really get completely put off by it. Something which should be really real and heartfelt, becomes stupid, contrived and lame. It's impossible to believed any of it. The director has allowed anything to pass.
I really don't know where to start, but if the acting is stale, it just as bad that every fall or injury is so badly made it's not even funny. The cutting job is awful. The dialog is awful as well, and the use of known musicians like Alexander Rybak, Morten Harket, Morten Abel, Carola (!) and Alejandro Fuentes and glamor models like Aylar Lie is not very motivated. Even sound and use of animals and music is quite off, just as effects, CGI and archive footage. The film is over-focusing on wolves and bears and evil humans as well. There were bears in the woods back then, but not appearing every ten minutes.
This film could have been something like "Rabbit proof fence" or "Lassie" burn turns out to to be losing the whole concept of telling a good story bad. It looks like one of Charlie Chaplin's first short films. Let's face it, Grethe Dalomonsen should never be in charge of directing a film ever again. I haven't seen her earlier children films "Kamilla og tyven" 1 and 2, but I'm quite sure they are equally amateurishly made. The film is very contrived, yeah, even bad. In the end it's written like "part 1" which I wish I could assure you would never be fulfilled. But there was still many going to see this in the cinemas, due to good marketing.
Well small kids may find it great. Older kids and grown ups stay away. It should gave had 2 out of 10 stars only due to the importance of these facts being told, but the film is so awful, I really don't have a heart to give it more than 1, being ashamed both that it's a Norwegian film, and that I sat down to watch it. This film does not make any justice to the story by even the slightest measures. Be wise, and let the film die the death of forgotten films. Don't say you wasn't warned!
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