Oct 31


trollsynGenre: Drama
Year: 1994
Country: Norway

Director: Ola Solum
Starring: Julia Onsager Steen, Liv Bernhoft Osa, Bjørn Willberg Andersen, Reidar Sørensen, Baard Owe


The Black Death is one of the worst pandemics that Europe has ever seen. Between 1347 and 1352 it caused the deaths of approximately 100 million people. When it hits a small norwegian village on Jostedalsbreen it leaves only one survivor. The young girl Maren has to survive on her own and explore the countryside to try to find other survivors.

Trollsyn (direct translation would be Trollvision) is based on a norwegian saga about “Jostedalsrypa” (The little girl from Jostedal). The story has been told from generation to generation and is a part of norwegian culture. This movie is done very authentic and plays on storytelling instead of making pure entertainment. It’s a very traditional movie and I don’t think anyone who isn’t interested in norwegian history would find it enjoyable.

The little girl is played by Julia Onsager Steen in her only movie. She has to carry the movie, which is not an easy task for a nine-year old, and she does an excellent job. Ola Solum directed the film and he has done two other famous norwegian movies before this – Orion’s Belt and Reisen til Julestjernen. He does a good job of keeping everyone focused here and the look of the movie is very good. If you want to see norwegian nature then see this movie.

The problem with the movie lies in its lack of entertainment. It does get tedious to watch little Maren travel through the countryside without anything really happening. The movie also assumes that the viewer are familiar with the story before seeing this, which again only makes it just for those with interest in norwegian culture.

Trollsyn is very traditional and very norwegian. It has interesting historical value for us norwegians, but lacks entertainment to become watchable for others. Even though it is not very good I do think that the movie deserves a DVD release here in Norway and it sucks that we let our own movies stay forgotten in this country.




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1 comment

  1. Duane

    I found this post because I just looked up the film. It’s playing right now on my television. I had found a copy somewhere on the Internet years ago, but never watched it because I had no subtitles (I’d take English or Norwegian). I can understand bits of it because I’ve what I’ve learned of Swedish, but my ear for it is still pretty bad. Even so, I’m finding the film mysterious and adsorbing, despite what you describe as Maren just running around. But then, I am interested in Nordic culture, so that must explain it. Agreed. It’s a shame that it is so unavailable. I’m baffled that it’s easier to get Astrid Lindgren’s books in German than in Swedish. At least here in the US. What’s with that, anyway?

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