Glasskår (original title)
1h 16min | Drama, Family | 15 February 2002 (Norway)
Norwegian director Berg takes an unusual approach in this film about a young teen boy: He makes an honest, artistic film with adult production values that actually speaks to kids. The content may seem a bit grown up, but it’s right where these children live! Sometime in the 1980s, Viktor (Evjen), a sharp, perceptive 13-year-old who’s afraid he will never be as cool as his big brother OK (Lauritzsen). His pals (Eidissen and Stigar) seem to feel the same, so they form a band just to get the girls’ attention, even though none of them can play an instrument. Meanwhile, Viktor knows something’s up in his family. His parents (Kokkin and Kolsrud) are not talking to him, while OK tells him secrets he finds hard to believe. Meanwhile, Viktor notices a new girl (Johansen) and gets entangled with the local thug (Rafaelsen) and his girlfriend (Gjertsen). Basically, Viktor knows far more than anyone gives him credit for. And he cooler than all of them put together!
While the filmmaking itself is profoundly un-flashy, Berg captures the story beautifully. This is rich, meaningful cinema–thoroughly entertaining in its use of humour and unexpected adventures to keep us engaged, and then deepening it with a fairly intense examination of family communication (what the film is really about, as opposed to more obvious themes). Why do adults lie and keep the truth from children? Sometimes this is a little heavy-handed, but it’s never sentimental at all, and Berg gets terrific, natural, edgy performances from the entire cast. Evjen is especially good, making Viktor a very intriguing character we like instantly and then learn to respect (he becomes a bit too saintly at the end, but never mind). It’s rare to find a film about children made with this level of integrity and truthfulness; so keep an eye out for it.
Director: Lars Berg
Writers: Lars Berg (screenplay), Harald Rosenløw-Eeg (novel)
Stars: Eirik Evjen, Martin Jonny Raaen Eidissen, Eirik Stigar