Skip to main content

NINE LIVES

Norway, 1957 (MIFF 1959, Programme 25)

Director: A. Skouen

Each account of heroism and hardship which came out of World War II seemed to set a new level for man's indestructible spirit: but none seemed so utterly incredible as this tale of the Norwegian underground fighter, Jan Baalsrud.

Based on his actual experience, as described in David Howarth's book "We Die Alone", the gripping narrative unfolds, almost in the manner of a documentary. Events took place in Arctic Norway in 1943 during the Nazi occupation. Baalsrud sailed from Shetland in a small boat with three others to sabotage an airfield from which the German attacked the Allied convoys from England to Murmansk. Contact with an informer caused disaster, and a warship attacked the boat. Baalsrud alone escaped. shot in the foot. The film covers his hazardous struggle to neutral Sweden &ndash: two months of survival against unbearable odds. Jack Fjeldstad"s performance gives credence to the presentation, with fine support from his principal benefactors.

The film makes no concessions to its stark theme. It was shot along the same difficult route of Baalsrud's flight, with tremendous re-enactment of his ordeal. Harrowing but inspiring, it has been described as an "apotheosis to the will to live” played out against the magnificent background of the Lyngen Alps &ndash: it is less a war film than a record of human courage and kindness, practised by ordinary people who were in no way expecting reward, and even shrank from relating their parts in what has become a new northern saga.

See also...

APARAJITO

In the second part of the Apu trilogy, we find Harihar, his wife, Sarbojaya, and their son, Apu, in the holy city of Benares. Here, the father ekes out a living by reading the scriptures; when he ... More »

The Seine Meets Paris

The buildings and bridges, the people and their lives viewed from the Seine as it flows through Paris. ... More »

DIG A MILLION, MAKE A MILLION

An ABC film unit went around the world to uncover the inside story of Hamersley Iron Pty. Ltd. This film probes the issues involved in the debate on overseas investment in Australia through a company ... More »

Sketches from ‘The Tempest'

The film, as it stands, is all that was completed by George Dunning, the great British animator, before his tragic death last year. Much of it is in pencil form (done on paper to check the animation ... More »

MOTHER

Gorki's famous novel, "Mother", was first filmed during the height of the Russian silent period by Pudovkin who used the story for the realisation of his theories on constructive editing. ... This ... More »

THE SCARLET EMPRESS

Sophia Frederica is brought from Germany to Russia to become the wife of the mad Grand Duke Peter. She is, at first, innocent and wondering, but when married and plunged into the intrigue of the ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director