Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5
Original title: Ofelas
Norway, 1987. Filmkameratene A/S, Mayco, Norsk Film, Norway Film Development. Screenplay by Nils Gaup. Cinematography by Erling Thurmann-Andersen. Produced by Erik Disch, John M. Jacobsen. Music by Kjetil Bjerkestrand, Marius Müller, Nils-Aslak Valkeapää. Production Design by Harald Egede-Nissen. Film Editing by Nils Pagh Andersen. Academy Awards 1987.
An old Sámi folk tale is the basis of this invigorating and lean adventure shot in the snowy northern climes of Norway. After the ruthless, invading Tchudes kill a young man’s parents and little sister, he barely escapes and goes back to a nomadic community of Sámi and warns them of the danger that they are in. The families gather up their homes and belongings and head to the safety of the coast, while Aigin stays behind with a group of men to try and stop the evildoers. When he is captured by his enemy, Aigin is forced to lead them to his friends and tries to devise a plan to do them in before they achieve their goal. Spare in dialogue but rich in images, this film understands its nature as a sacred myth and doesn’t add any unnecessary flourishes, getting its plot underway quickly and undertaking its adventure in short order before a sharp and satisfying conclusion.