Måker (1991)

3.5
(4)

During World War I in Norway, a shipping magnate goes bankrupt, and the family being used to a high-spending life moves to a summer cabin with moonshine and smuggling as a way out. Love and art are sacrificed in the hunt for old honor, with the children as victims.

Director: Vibeke Løkkeberg.
Writers: Terje Kristiansen, Vibeke Løkkeberg.
Stars: Helge Jordal, Vibeke Løkkeberg, Tonje Kleivdal Kristiansen, Marie Kristiansen, Helga Urdal, Marius Krogh, Keve Hjelm, Klaus Hagerup, Elisabeth Granneman, Sossen Krohg, Chatarina Larsson, Christian Barmen, Geo von Krogh, Tor Vister.
Cinematographer: Paul René Roestad.

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One Comment

  1. March 7, 2024
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    Vibeke Løkkeberg has been one of the most visible actors in Norwegian film ever since the 1960s. First as an actor in a number of her then-husband, Pål Løkkeberg’s, films, but became just as important behind the camera during the 70s. The runner girl from 1981 depicts the brutal post-war reality from little Kamilla’s point of view. This film won the critic’s prize in Haugesund the same year, and in 1995 was included in UNESCO’s list of the 15 most significant films from Norway. She has recently been featured in the film Gaza’s tears, and is also behind a number of books.

    But it has occasionally stormed around Løkkeberg, and she has had to endure harsh criticism from the public. In 1986, she made the very ambitious project Hud, which shows the fate of a young woman in a small place in the west country around the turn of the century in all its cruelty. She has children out of wedlock and has to face the wrath of the village beast. All in all, it is a moving portrayal, but to use her own words, “Norway was not ready for that type of film”. Many who wanted light entertainment labeled Løkkeberg’s productions as excessively elitist and without a desire to reach a wide audience, and thus a myth was born.

    When she came out five years later with the film Måker, the verdict was in many ways foregone. The film was slaughtered from the vast majority of quarters, and there has since been a kind of consensus about it. But there is still something jarring. Firstly, there are very few who have seen the film, and thus very few who actually have a basis to comment. Second, some of the few who saw the film at the time without prejudice, the critics at the 1991 Los Angeles Film Festival, gave the film rave reviews in the LA Times. Marie Kristiansen also won a youth Oscar for her role in the film, and how many Norwegians have actually done that? It may seem that quite a few people have actually judged the film without giving it a try, and perhaps even without having seen it at all. In addition, today’s young people have never had the opportunity to form their own opinion about the film, as it has not been possible to see it, and have therefore been left to the not necessarily informed opinions of their parents and other adults about it.

    Måker is about a shipowner family in the early 20th century, who have to make ends meet after a bankruptcy. The family rents a summer house down by the sea, where the tuberculous father hopes to save the family by selling his daughter’s violin, which he believes is a real Stradivarius. The daughter’s art must be sacrificed for a recovery of the family’s lifestyle and finances. Løkkeberg was strongly inspired by Anton Chekhov as the title suggests. The film shows the theme that has followed the director’s film career; the child caught in the crossfire between the innocent and the greedy.

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