🇳🇴 NORTH OF THE SUN 🇳🇴
North of the Sun aka Nordfor Sola (2013) is an award-winning Norwegian documentary/adventure/sport film available on Netflix U.K., AppleTV and Prime Video to rent/buy US, AppleTV to buy in Canada. It is 46 minutes in duration and rated 12 U.K. In Norwegian and a small amount of English with subtitles.
“Two young men decide to spend an Arctic Circle Norwegian winter in the isolated and uninhabited bay of Norway. Their home is built from salvaged material washed up onshore. They surf every day with much time for self-reflection.”
Jørn Nyseth Ranum ~ Self
Inge Wegge ~ Self
Jørn Nyseth Ranum
I stumbled across this (almost) short film, North of the Sun, by pure chance while searching Netflix for Norwegian films to watch aiming to write a review just like this one. I don’t watch many documentaries but the concept of this one really appealed. I was curious as to how these young men would fare in such a remote area while surfing and reflecting. I thought that at the very least the landscape and natural surroundings would likely be attractive.
Several things impressed me with this film, one of the biggest is its very clear narrative structure. We meet the guys, and we find out the whys and wherefores of this venture, the location and that they do have some practical aims for their time staying there.
We meet those that they meet, such as the local farmer. We stay close to them inside their hut which we see them build and insulate from flotsam and jetsam. We venture out into the sea with them on their boards. We go with them as they climb upwards to snowboard pristine snowy peaks.
The location itself, a deserted, remote bay up within the Arctic Circle is stunning. Now I’ve read many a comment over the years from those who have watched a TV series of several episodes saying that the drama wasn’t great but the locations make up for it… this is a film where the non-fiction story itself is engaging AND you get to see some phenomenal landscapes.
At this point, I must mention the overall visuals of this film because many of them are truly breathtaking. Long wide beaches, sunsets, rolling waves breaking with the sun shining through the spray, glittering snow… The music used is the ideal accompaniment. And the editing is excellent creating a very clear storyline.
The young men cleared the beach of accumulated trash twice while they were there because it is so damaging to the environment and wildlife. These 2 are very ecologically aware.
We get to know the two of them well too, their traits, exuberance and enthusiasm (less so when conditions are very harsh). I’m full of admiration for anyone who is, frankly, crazy enough to want to go surfing in winter in sub-zero temperatures (well below freezing). Using a bottle of olive oil to judge how cold it is (if it’s solid, it’s more than a bit chilly) is something that I would never have thought of.
This is an absolute gem of a film and I can unhesitatingly recommend it, for the breathtaking landscapes and visuals if nothing else. But it’s far more than that. I thought it was a beautiful thing to watch and loved it.
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