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When the Light Comes (1998)

Adventure | 110 minutes
3,02 142 votes

Genre: Adventure / Romance

Duration: 110 minuten

Alternative titles: Licht / Waar Blijft het Licht

Country: Belgium / Netherlands / Germany / Norway

Directed by: Stijn Coninx

Stars: Francesca Vanthielen, Joachim Król and Rick Engelkes

IMDb score: 6,4 (471)

Releasedate: 29 January 1998


This movie is not available on US streaming services.


When the Light Comes plot

Ellen Vanderlaan finally wants to do what she feels like after high school. After a boat trip she ends up in Spitsbergen where she will share a house with the Norwegian trapper Lars one winter, amidst ice floes and endless white plains. Her expectations don't all come true: she struggles to adapt to the grueling life above the Arctic Circle, and Lars isn't the rough-and-tumble type of man she'd imagined. There is an icy atmosphere in the wooden hut due to the lack of communication and the fact that Lars is constantly making sexual innuendos. As time goes by, Ellen understands that she will have to adapt to make life bearable. When the Light Comes is based on the autobiographical novel 'Where does the light stay' by Heleen van der Laan.

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avatar van Film Pegasus

Film Pegasus (moderator films)

  • 30534 messages
  • 5226 votes

Stijn Coninx is above all a director who can tell a story. Just think of Daens or Hector. And after more recent work like De Kavijaks and Soeur Sourire, I have every confidence in his biopic Marina. Unfortunately, a film like Licht also has to have atmosphere and Coninx falls a bit short in that. You also notice with Daens and Hector that his films visually age quickly. Moreover, the story loses some power, because Coninx still wants to aim for that atmosphere. I think this movie was made too early. Flemish film has meanwhile progressed much further. Or this is just not Coninx's style.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van blurp194


  • 4579 messages
  • 3625 votes

The naive Ellen visits a lonely trapper. A sleepover of three quarters of a year or so. She forgets for a moment that she invited herself...

Quite a nice film, fairly atmospheric - although it could have been a bit stronger, I have to agree with my predecessor. And although attention is paid to the special circumstances, the cold doesn't exactly turn off my screen during the film.

Francesca Vanthielen is nice as Ellen, just the right charisma to convey a somewhat naive girl. Pretty girl, that helps too.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van Robi


  • 2395 messages
  • 2463 votes

A somewhat spoiled Dutch (according to the film, but with a Flemish accent) girl spends the winter in the far north with a trapper. The film does have some unbelievable moments at times and is also very predictable from the start. It also starts slowly and stiffly. But towards the end it thaws and it is still a sweet film. It is a pity that no elements have been added to the film that take it to a higher level. Because I actually give him a slightly higher rating.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original