Orions belte (1985)
At a time when Norwegian films had a reputation for struggling to break even, let alone go into profit, and when crime and action films were completely absent from the scene, Norwegian studio Filmeffekt gambled (and unconditionally so) and converted Jon Michelet’s renowned book about the political power struggle over the Svalbard archipelago and the surrounding Barents Sea. As directed by Ola Solum, Orions belte is one of the tightest, most thrilling movies in the history of Norwegian film. The film owes a lot of its structure and form to classic genre thinking, but the foundation provided by Jon Michelet's extremely insightful and poignant novel elevates it and makes this one of the richest films of the period.
As of the date of this review, Russia is once more rearming in the area, thus revitalizing the relevance of Orions belte. With the added impact of the global warming that threatens to make the entire Arctic ice-free in under 40 years, these areas are more interesting than ever. Michelet's story is one of warning, and British screenwriter Richard Harris captures the duality and complexity of the situation while sketching out a high-octane thriller in the process. Bergen actor Helge Jordal received the Amanda for his industrious lead.