"Acutely reflective, sociological and virtuous..."
German screenwriter, producer and director Matthias Glasner's seventh feature film which he co-produced and which was written by Danish screenwriter Kim Fupz Aakeson, premiered In competition at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival in 2012, was shot on location in Hammerfest, Norway and is a Germany-Norway co-production which was produced by German producer Andreas Born and Norwegian producer Kristine Knudsen. It tells the story about a married couple named Niels and Maria who has emigrated with their son named Markus from Kiel, Germany to Hammerfest, Norway where they have bought a farm by the coast and Niels has gotten a job at a gas plant, Maria as a nurse at a hospital and Markus has begun at a new school. Whilst they are all in the process of learning the Norwegian language, Niels and Maria works on their marriage and Markus befriends a boy in his class, but one night when Maria is on her way home from the hospital she hits someone with her car.
Distinctly and subtly directed by European filmmaker Matthias Glasner who made a lasting impression with his fifth feature film "The Free Will" (2006) six years ago, this quietly paced fictional tale which is narrated from multiple viewpoints, draws a tangible and engaging portrayal of a German man who has become friendly with a colleague named Linda, his spouse who sings in the local choir and listens attentively to her pregnant boss named Wenche and how their relationship suddenly bursts to life after they decide to keep a severe secret to themselves. While notable for it's naturalistic and atmospheric milieu depictions, sterling cinematography by Polish-German cinematographer Jacub Bejnarowich, production design by production designer Claus-Rudolf Amler and use of light, this character-driven and narrative-driven story where the prominent Arctic surroundings is a character in itself which effects the main characters and where the heart of the story revolves around a 16-year-old girl named Mette, depicts several incisive studies of character and contains a great score by Homesweethome.
This conversational, modestly romantic, at times humorous, psychological and internal character piece which is set during a winter in a somewhat isolated community inhabited by considerate people in Northern Norway where a son gets himself into a similar situation as his parents at school and his mother has a consequential encounter with the Northern Light, is impelled and reinforced by it's cogent narrative structure, substantial character development, subtle continuity, use of music, moral meaningfulness, mysterious undertones, graceful and humane aura and the reverent and involving acting performances by German actor Jürgen Vogel, German actress Birgit Minichmayr, Norwegian actress Ane Dahl Torp, Norwegian actress and singer Iren Reppen and Norwegian actor Stig Henrik Hoff. An acutely reflective, sociological and virtuous drama and a long sought after and appreciated representation of Northern Norway which is not too often depicted in contemporary cinema.
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