SONGS OF EARTH
(director/writer: Margreth Olin; cinematographer: Lars Erlend Tubaas Øymo; editor: Michal Leszczylowski; music: Rebekka Karijord; cast: Jørgen Mykle (Father), Magnhild Mykle (Mother): Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Margreth Olin, Lena Faye-Lund Sandvik; Speranza Films; 2023-Norway-in Norwegian, with English subtitles)
“Remarkable documentary on the sublime beauty of western Norway.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Norway’s selection for best international feature at this year’s Academy Awards.
Margreth Olin (“The Self-Portrait”/”Doing Good”) directs this remarkable documentary on the sublime beauty of western Norway (in the Oldedalen Valley, within the Nordfjord area-about 400kms northeast of Oslo). It’s an uplifting nature film that ties together themes of spiritual matters, mortality and love.
The mind-blowing poetical meditation covers the changes in the four seasons of the landscape as compared with the changes of Olin’s aging 84-year-old father and the love there is between her mother and father in their 55-year marriage. Her father Jørgen guides us through the area with his wife Magnhild almost always by his side.
During this year long hiking trek Olin learns more about the lives of her father and mother than she was ever aware of, as the daughter speaks to her dad through poems.
It would benefit the viewer to see the documentary on the Big Screen, if they can, since its cinematography is so super as photographed on a digital-camera, by a few drone photographers and by different wildlife photographers.
This fascinating film needs no analysis since its rich images speak for themselves. Its profundity is found in nature and in the lives of a loving couple, who both are aging on their outside but their insides are still intact.
It played at the Toronto Film Festival.
REVIEWED ON 12/21/2023 GRADE: A