The Nordic & Baltic Oscar Contenders series at Scandinavia House returns this season with screenings of films chosen by the Nordic & Baltic countries to compete for the Oscar nomination for the Best International Feature Film! On December 2, see Norway’s official nomination for the 95th Academy Awards, War Sailor (dir. Gunnar Vikene, Norway, 2022). Director Gunnar Vikene will be present for a film talk and Q&A after the event.
In 1939, working-class Alfred Garnes (Kristoffer Joner) has recently become father to his third child when he and his childhood friend Sigbjørn (Pål Sverre Hagen) sign up to work on a merchant ship in the mid-Atlantic Ocean. When World War II breaks out shortly thereafter, they find themselves unarmed civilians on the front lines of a war they never asked to join — clinging to survival in a spiral of violence and death, where at any moment German submarines may attack their valuable vessels. Meanwhile, as months stretch into years, Alfred’s wife Cecilia struggles through the war alone in Bergen with their children, not knowing whether she will see her husband again. When British aircraft attempts to bomb a German submarine bunker instead hit civilian homes in Nøstet — as well as the primary school in Laksevåg — and news of civilian deaths reaches Alfred and Wally, they soon wonder if they will have anything awaiting them at home. The war sailors have two goals: to survive, and to return.
“Psychologically complex…a war epic that doesn’t feel like a war movie”—Seventh Row
This screening will take place in-person at Scandinavia House in Victor Borge Hall.
This program is supported by the Consulate General of Norway in New York.
About the Director
Gunnar Vikene directed his first feature film, Falling Sky (Himmelfall) in 2002. His following feature films – Trigger (2007), Vegas (2009), and Here is Harold (2014) – have all received both critical acclaim and number of international prizes.
In 2017 he directed the TV-series Borderline, which earned him a best director-prize at Gullruten (Norwegian Emmys). He also directed several episodes of the acclaimed show Occupied (2020) and was in 2022 again nominated for a best director-prize for his work in the TV-series Pørni (2021). Gunnar lives in Bergen, on the west coast of Norway. Before starting to work with films he was a submarine officer for several years.