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Ofelas (1987)

Adventure | 86 minutes
3,38 34 votes

Genre: Adventure / Action

Duration: 86 minuten

Alternative titles: Pathfinder / Veiviseren / Ofelaš

Country: Norway

Directed by: Nils Gaup

Stars: Mikkel Gaup, Ingvald Guttorm and Nils Utsi

IMDb score: 7,2 (5.591)

Releasedate: 1 September 1987

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Ofelas plot

Around the year 1000, barbarian warriors, 'tjuder', roam northern Scandinavia. They murder a family in a vast empty area, but the son, Aigin, manages to flee after seeing the killers. He flees to a camp where Lapps live, but they are afraid that he has left a trail and flee on. Aigin decides to stay behind to avenge his family, but is soon caught by the brutes. They force him to show the way to the other escapees. Aigin does this, but he has a plan to deal with the barbarians along the way.

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avatar van Woland

Woland

  • 4168 messages
  • 3409 votes

The film mainly relies on a very beautiful and rarely filmed medieval Arctic setting. We follow a family and then a Nordic tribe somewhere in the distant past (sometime in the Middle Ages, I estimate), whose peaceful life in harsh Lapland is brutally disrupted by an enemy tribe (the Tjuder) invading their land. In terms of plot, it's not all that surprising or interesting, and the acting isn't always anything to write home about either. Not to mention that bear at the beginning. But that is well compensated by, indeed, a beautiful northern environment and a Lappish setting with plenty of news to see. There are also some bloody moments. It's far from a masterpiece, but you could do worse with a randomly selected film.

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avatar van Filmkriebel

Filmkriebel

  • 8970 messages
  • 4143 votes

Adventurous folk tale from the Norwegian Middle Ages, with a successful high northern atmosphere. Aigin, a boy whose parents have been murdered by a hostile tribe, finds refuge in a neighboring community that is also threatened by this. Local superstition and shamanism of the Saami also find their place in the film, but not to the extent that it bothers or bores. The short running time makes this an entertaining watch; the film is by no means outdated. Surprisingly beautiful film that did not disappoint me at all.

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avatar van Collins

Collins

  • 6276 messages
  • 3738 votes

The film by writer and director Nils Gaup is set around the year 1000 and offers an insight into Lapland nomadic culture. A historical adventure film about a boy who flees from a bloodthirsty gang of plunderers who have massacred his family and seeks revenge.

About the murderous Tschuden and the Sami, the original inhabitants of Lapland. Hardly uncharted territory for me. I was struck by the similarities between the northern Scandinavian population and the original inhabitants of the North American continent. Tents, weapons, tools, songs and rituals reminded me very much of those from Indian culture. Handy similarities for the 2007 remake that didn't require the creator to do much more than turn the Sami into Indians and the Tschude into Vikings.

As far as I'm concerned, the special thing about the film is mainly in the framing and the details. For example, the original Sami dialect is used in the film. It makes the film, which is actually just a simple revenge film, a little more authentic. The same applies to the beautiful images of the white polar landscape, including the polar lights that are used atmospherically at the end. The attention paid to the customs of the Sami as well as small details such as the ice crystals that form in the facial hair of the men, show that Gaup has a pleasant sense of detail. And that helps with the icy feeling in this fairly common adventure film that is pleasant to watch but which does not excel in originality in terms of narrative.

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