December 1942. Two young soldiers leave their post at check-point 83 in Northern Värmland, Sweden, and make their way through the ice cold winter-night towards the border of Nazi-occupied ... See full summary »
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Kathryn Lee Moss
Joseph Paul Branca,
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December 1942. Two young soldiers leave their post at check-point 83 in Northern Värmland, Sweden, and make their way through the ice cold winter-night towards the border of Nazi-occupied Norway. Sweden stands on the brink of invasion and the soldiers want to see the enemy everybody's talking about. But the adventure ends in disaster and the following day Lieutenant Aron Stenström finds out that his brother Sven is one of the missing soldiers. With the odds against him, he is forced to go on a secret rescue mission behind enemy lines. Deep in the Norwegian forest Aron realizes that a completely different kind of line must be crossed if they're to come out alive. Written by
The German plan to invade Sweden found in the briefcase taken from the crashed German plane is named Operation Polarfuchs. However, in reality Operation Polarfuchs was a totally different operation, part of the joint German/Finnish attack on the Soviet Union from Northern Finland. See more »
Coming from not only a nation (Norway) which has a lot of heroes connected to the second world war, but also a world re-known town from where some world famous saboteurs came from (Rjukan)h, it's interesting to see a movie from the Swedish side.
They were equally young to the Swedes here, those local schoolboys and students which later one became famous as saboteurs. You saw some of them in the films Max Manus and The Heavy Water Sabotage. I personally got to know a couple of them, amongst them Gunnar "Kjakan" Sønstsbø, which was Norways most decorated war heroes, and a main person in the spiderweb of sabotage actions which made the war difficult for the occupiers during the war. And my father very secretly brought food up to saboteurs hiding in the mountains, waiting for the right time to hit. This was so secret that I didn't get to know this until many years after his death, by strangers which knew my dad.
Sweden has been a peaceful nation, and their neutrality during the WW2 is well known, but we've heard very little on their war history. This film tells a bit about the nervousness the Swedes felt even though they chose not to take sides during the war. Norway wasn't at all ready to fight against the German war machine, nor where the Danes or most other nation attacked and occupied during the war. Still there sprung heroes out of the war. They started off as young and stupid, but still with some courage and luck, which in some years made them both experienced and later on heroes.
This movie shows how naive the Swedes where, when they went from peaceful Sweden into wartime Norway on silly missions. They weren't at all prepared for what they met. Many Nowegian soldiers died the same way, without becoming either known or heroes. This film could as much as being about Swedes have been about Nowegians, or Finns. We get to see the experienced Finn in action here. He had learned how fights were won during the Finnish winter war. Therefore he was better able to deal with the horrors of war.
Though this film had some troubles establishing our sympathy for the characters in the first hour, it manages to do so in the last hour, when the severeness has caught both them and us as viewers.
This war film is more about the traumas of war than about the war. I found the film fascinating for more tan one reason. I also found he film honest and no extra hero bullshit, just plain true and raw realism. That there's a drama at the end I found refreshing. It was actions like that which made the war hell for Germans in Norway. Impossible to know where and when they would occur, but many felt obliged to do what they could to make it difficult for the occupiers.
A review here thought the Germans where cliché fully horrible here, but torture and nastiness was no stranger to the occupiers. This was how they got to know about hideouts and saboteurs. This was a very real war.
A good movie, which could have had a better start than it did.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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