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Foreign Film - Norway - Troubled Water - DeUsynlige

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Troubled Water / DeUsynlige
Pal Sverre Valheim Hagen, Ellen Dorrit Petersen
Directed by Erik Poppe
Norwegian with English subtitles
Norway 2008
Film Movement 2010
120 minutes

Troubled Water is a good film that really asks the viewer to be in the right mood for it. Watching a foreign film DVD in a totally foreign language like Norwegian is work; watching a very complex movie that is probably a bit too long is more work. Like your stereotypical Northern European film (Sweden, Denmark Norway) Troubled Water is a slow paced moody dislinear production that demands a solid power of concentration. I am not convinced that in the end this foreign film is worth that much effort. This film is third in a triptych.

Troubled Waters tells the story of Jan aka Thomas who is released from jail after serving time for the death of a child. He finds a job as a church organist and develops a relationship with the pastor, Anna, and her young son. Agnes, the dead child’s mother, comes across Jan and this reopens very deep wounds. Troubled Waters raises the issue of forgiveness. Many of the scenes where the issue is really present are more symbolic than there to move the story forward.

The problem with this foreign film DVD is the story is told in bits and pieces and flashbacks. It also represents certain scenes but as seen through the eyes of Agnes. It is a little difficult to follow the bouncing balls especially when the main ball really starts bouncing at a particularly dramatic moment and the movie leaves it hanging for a while.

By the time Troubled Waters starts moving towards its climax you are ready to congratulate yourself of making is this far.

Not all foreign films travel well. This is the case here. This is probably an excellent movie if you are Norwegian but a foreign viewer gets exhausted.

Film Movement DVDs also include a short film. Here is is The Kolaborator, a fifteen minute film by American director Chris Bessounian. Goran, a promising soccer player ends up part of an execution squad during the Yugoslavian war. It presents a new look on the situation.

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