Film review – Nordfor sola (North of the Sun)

I’ve never really felt at ease on the sea, and I suck at most sports, especially if such activities can be accompanied by the word “extreme”. In this mindset it’s hard to try and explain why I decided to pay to download a surfing documentary, with paragliding and off-piste snowboarding casually thrown to make me understand even better how lame I am.
But the truth is that Nordfor sola is staggeringly beautiful, and I for once struggle to think how anyone else could possibly disagree. Even those scarred for life by the Beach Boys and hating surf with a passion.
With this out of the way, let’s talk about the film itself. It’s a short documentary, done with skill by two young Norwegian film makers, Inge Wegge and Jørn Nyseth Ranum, who – in a nutshell – spend nine months basically surfing.
If I was to stop here I wouldn’t be doing the film any justice, because this isn’t your classic surfing documentary (you know the kind, minute upon minute of sun, ripped bodies, rock music, beach parties, GoPro galore and the occasional wound to show that the guys are badass). For a starter, Inge and Jørn haven’t gotten down to Hawaii, they’re in Norway. And it isn’t summer either (as the title says, they are north of the sun, i.e. in the Arctic night, for quite a bit of time). And they’re literally in the middle of friggin’ nowhere, in a secluded bay hours on foot from the nearest village, farm or outpost of civilization.
The bay. Courtesy http://www.northofthesun.no

The bay. Courtesy http://www.northofthesun.no

And this is where it gets better. The guys decide to spend the whole winter there, north of the Arctic circle, in this bay at the receiving end of the Atlantic storms, living into a hut that they built out of driftwood and any odd item that they found washed on the surf, without electricity or running water, eating mostly out-of-date food that they can get for free in supermarkets and grocery stores. Their project is to live out there, surfing and cleaning up the beach of every remnant of human activity that arrives from the sea, for nine months.
This documentary is a short one at some 45 minutes, but it’s so rich on so many different levels – introspection, endurance, sports, environmental consciousness, friendship, nature – that it’s one to be watched many times again. Honestly, it’s a gem.
In 3 months they gathered 3ton of rubbish. http://www.northofthesun.no

In 3 months they gathered 3ton of rubbish. http://www.northofthesun.no

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5 Responses to Film review – Nordfor sola (North of the Sun)

  1. lexklein says:

    I love films that show me things I could not or should not ever do! I’ll see if I can find this one. If short adventure documentaries are of general interest to you, I’d suggest Meru. I wrote a brief post on it a few months ago if you want more info.

    Liked by 1 person

    • awtytravels says:

      Thanks for your comment! North of the Sun is available on the iTunes store, the rent option is quite cheap (something like £2 or thereabouts). What’s Meru about?

      Liked by 1 person

      • lexklein says:

        Oh, great – I’ll check it out! Meru is about a quest to climb the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru, the most technically complicated and dangerous peak in the Himalayas. Climbed AND filmed by Jimmy Chin, Renan Ozturk, and Conrad Anker, it’s also a story of personal challenges. I was lucky enough to see it at a small theater where Jimmy Chin answered questions after the film.

        Liked by 1 person

      • awtytravels says:

        Interesting! Will check it out.

        Like

  2. LaVagabonde says:

    I tried surfing once. As if I needed further embarassment in my life. But I love watching surfing. This film sounds superb – all the adventure without the bravado.

    Liked by 1 person

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