Here’s the notice that came to my mail box last week:
Hei again Norskies!
We will be showing the Made-for-TV documentary film, “Der Elden Slokna” (Where the Home Fires Died). It was produced 20 years ago for NRK and tells the story of old farm buildings perched high above Storfjorden in the Ålesund area of western Norway. Many people who grew up on those farms are interviewed for the program. It really is quite a treasure.
This week there was another notice about a film, a Norwegian film to be shown at the Nordic Heritage Center. Elling is the title. We went on Tuesday lunch time – had a bowl of soup and watched the film, all in Norwegian but it had subtitles in English. What a gem of a film. It has received several awards and much acclaim. It raises questions as to how people cope with transition in a fast changing world and where do the boundaries lie between sanity and the not so sane. What constitutes normality? Delicate subjects treated in a very sympathetic way. From the website, here is the
When his mother, who has sheltered him his entire 40 years, dies, Elling, a sensitive, would-be poet, is sent to live in a state institution. There he meets Kjell Bjarne, a gentle giant and female-obsessed virgin in his 40s. After two years, the men are released and provided with a state-funded apartment and stipend with the hope they will be able to live on their own. Initially, the simple act of going around the corner for groceries is a challenge. Through a friendship born of desperate dependence, the skittish Elling and the boisterous, would-be lover of women, Kjell Bjarne, discover they can not only survive on the outside, they can thrive. But as their courage grows, the two find oddball ways to cope with society, striking up the most peculiar friendships in the most unlikely places. Written by Sujit R. Varma