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Norway readies its unique Movies on War Festival


- Between 12 and 15 November in Elverum, the showcase for films about “peace and reconciliation, war and conflict” will unspool for the fifth time

Norway readies its unique Movies on War Festival

Norwegian director Erik Poppe will visit this year’s Movies on War Festival in Elverum and will show scenes from his new film, The King’s Choice [+see also:
film review
interview: Erik Poppe
film profile
, which was partly shot in the region where the events it depicts actually took place – and which was bombarded – in 1940. 

The historical epic, starring Danish actor Jesper Christensen and Norwegian actor Anders Baasmo Christiansen, follows Germany’s invasion of Norway. On the afternoon of 8 April, King Haakon VII was faced with the Germans’ demand for capitulation, a passive government and a Crown Prince ready for action. 

At Elverum, the king refused the German ultimatum, and the Nazi response was a naval attack, which the Oscarsborg Fortress repelled, sinking the German heavy cruiser Blücher. The film about “the real events that turned a brave man into the people’s king” will be premiered next year.

Unspooling for the fifth time from 12-15 November, the world’s only showcase focusing on “peace and reconciliation, war and conflict” – headed by festival director Mona Pedersen – has programmed 20 mostly recent Nordic and international films.

The gathering will be officially opened by Finnish director Klaus Härö’s The Fencer [+see also:
interview: Ivo Felt
film profile
– Finland’s submission for the Oscar for Best Foreign-language Film – a Stalin-era, period drama set in Soviet-occupied Estonia, where a teacher on the run from the secret police has found a job.

Swedish director Magnus Gertten’s Every Face Has a Name [+see also:
film profile
confronts Swedish immigrants with 1945 newsreel footage 70 years after they took their first steps into freedom at Malmö as survivors from the German World War 2 concentration camps.

At the Norwegian Railway Museum, Norwegian director Erling Borgen will screen his new film, Swastika Profiteers, about how Norwegian authorities and private companies exploited the 130,000 slave labourers who came to Norway during WWII.

This year’s master class will be held by Russian director Andrei Nekrasov, who will introduce three of his films about the shadier sides of Russian society after communism, leading to a debate entitled “Where Is Putin’s Russia Heading?”

Following Norwegian pubcaster NRK’s TV series The Heavy Water War, the festival will show The Battle for Heavy Water, the Norwegian 1948 reconstruction (by Jean Dréville and Titus Vibe-Müller) of the 1943 allied sabotage of the Rjukan factory in order to prevent the Nazis from developing the atomic bomb.

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