MIFF review: North (Nord) (2009)

27 Jul

Genre: Black Comedy. Lonely man gets less lonely by turning back towards humanity

Writer: Erlend Loe

Director: Rune Denstad Langlo

North opens with us staring face to face with the films hero, Jomar (Anders Baasmo Christiansen).

Our first impression? A vacant brutish man; the lonely operator of a ski lift.

Jomar seams to be suffering from a series of psychological problems including a paralyzing anxiety disorder that causes him to fear leaving his life in the ski park; once a professional skier, now addicted to pills and booze.

When a former friend comes to visit we discover the heart of Jomar’s problems. Jomar’s ex girlfriend left him for his best friend, they now live in a small village in the far north with his four year old son. His friend urges him to come with him to see his son but Jomar’s anxiety disorder prevents him from making the journey.

Though combined act of stupidity and laziness Jomar finds himself homeless, releasing him from the bird-cage of security; he begins his journey north on a snow mobile.

His journey brings him in contact with a range of absurd characters, who, while they could not be more varied, all share the deep loneliness of isolation. Though mostly at first they seem to be insane, in there own particular ways the humanity that comes through their connection with Jomar is genuinely touching, and some unlikely frienships are forged. With the help of these new friends, our protaganist manages to maintain his alcoholism which gets him into a hilarious situation involving a young homophobic man who introduces Jomar to a novel way of getting drunk with limited resources. It includes an electric razor, sandpaper and a couple of tampons, but i’ll stop there lest you try it at home.

Filmed in some desperately horrendous conditions, North is a beautiful story of a journey of love and longing. The films conclusion is both understated and magnificent.

I left the film smiling and wondering if I could get up to the snow this year.

Score: ****

Trailer. Here.

Jemila MacEwan

Other MIFF reviews:

Moon

10 conditions of love

The Girlfriend Experience

Anna

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One Response to “MIFF review: North (Nord) (2009)”

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