Pathfinder (1987)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5

Original title: Ofelas

, 1987, , , Screenplay by Nils Gaup.  Cinematography by Produced by , Music by , , .   Production Design by .   Film Editing by .  

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.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Foreign Language Film

European Film Award Nominations:  Best European Supporting Actor (Helgi Skulason); Best Young Film

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