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Northern Light (2013)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 22 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 3 user | 6 critic | 4 from Metacritic.com

Set against the backdrop of a town's annual snowmobile race, this cinematic, observational documentary explores the American working class experience.

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Title: Northern Light (2013)

Northern Light (2013) on IMDb 6.4/10

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NORTHERN LIGHT interweaves the lives of three families in the northwoods of Michigan. Set against the backdrop of a town's annual snowmobile race, this cinematic, observational documentary explores the American working class experience. As racers and their families pin their hopes to a 500 mile-long test of endurance, small triumphs and giant sacrifices are made along the way. From a frozen corner of the country emerge three American families. Written by Northern Light

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1 March 2013 (USA)  »

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Światło północy  »

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Northern Light is a cinema verite documentary set in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
29 April 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Northern Light is a cinema verite documentary set in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It's a slow paced, but powerful look into the lives of three snowmobile racers and their families. Snowmobile racing is the glue holding this loose narrative together, with everyone and everything revolving around the next big race: the Annual I-500 in Sault Ste. Marie.

The three racing junkies lead very different lives off the snow, but bring real passion to their sport. Walt is one of the primary racers, who loves the sport to a fault, and has difficulties making ends meet as a result. While one of his opponents, Isaac is a perfectionist type, with a strong religious background. At many points in the film the racers' stories branch out, and the camera follows their family members whose daily lives have little or nothing to do with racing. At certain points these narrative diversions get a little confusing, but the supporting characters help broaden the film, giving it more depth and humanity.

Northern Light feels slow, with long shots of snow covered highways, trees and starry night skies, but this works well in contrast with the action of the final race. These shots are gorgeous, and paint a beautiful, but also bitter portrait of life 'up north'. I would recommend this film for doc buffs interested in a real slice of life (on ice).


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