Hammerfest is a Norwegian town on the edge of the Arctic Ocean at the country’s most north westerly tip. Between 22 November and 21 January the sun doesn’t even make it over the horizon. This small town caught in an icy reverie somewhere between black night and permanent twilight is now home to a German couple and their son. Niels is an engineer working at a natural gas liquefying plant based on a tiny island opposite Hammerfest. Maria, a nurse at a hospice for the fatally ill, has decided to join her husband here to support this important career move. The couple seems to have adapted well to this shadowy and sometimes surreal nocturnal world. But one day on her way home from work Maria is involved in an accident; she appears to have run over someone or something. Unable to face up to the situation, she panics and rushes back home. As events take their course this throws up some fundamental questions: is it possible to live your life without mercy or the ability to forgive? An intimate melodrama, told in stunningly cinematic images. –Berlinale
Born in Hamburg on January 20, 1965, Matthias Glasner used to work at the Hamburg State Opera and as a film projectionist. He has lived abroad in Russia and Texas. In 1983, he started making films with Birgit Staudt, including Schicksal und Zufall (1990). Whilst also working as a musician in the band “homesweethome”, Glasner founded the Jack Film & Musikproduktion company in 1993. In 1994/95, he directed Die Mediocren, a movie depicting the complicated love-lives of two women and two men. He followed this work with Sexy Sadie (1996), his first collaboration with his friend Jürgen Vogel (with whom he had founded the film production company Schwarzweiss Filmproduktion). In Sexy Sadie, Jürgen Vogel played a serial killer who escapes from prison after a doctor tells him that he only has a few more days to live. —filmportal.de
Impressive photography, a stunning location and a unique world are the best assets here. Some of the acting is forced and while on the whole it is a familiar and predictable enough tale the last 3rd takes us into fresh and emotionally honest territory in a look at how grief and guilt are shared within small communities and how with love they must be overcome if life is to continue. 3 stars
how is even POSSIBLE to make such a dull film? the worst kind. I'd rather hate a film than be bored by it. I left the cinema as soon as the film began employ every boring and tried plot hook ever. An hour and twenty minutes of my life wasted, and there was still an hour left. Nothing could have redeemed it at that point.
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