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Directed by Alexander Røsler

Norway | 98 minutes | 1997

Norwegian with English subtitles

In the 1950s Mendel Trotzig, a bright and curious boy, moves with his family to Norway, where a restricted number of Jewish refugees were able to re-establish their lives. Mendel has visions of cavorting polar bears. Instead, he finds himself contending with fish dumplings, cod liver oil and the family's slum apartment. Mendel's parents conceal their experiences during the war while they also adjust to unfamiliar customs. When Mendel ventures out to get acquainted with a suspicious local population, the story that ensues — that of a young boy yearning to be brave — is as humorous as it is touching. Director Alexander Røsler's delicate characterization is inspired by his own life: Røsler was born in Dachau, Germany in 1947, his family later emigrated to Norway. This is one of those rare cinematic offerings that gives universal insight into how children internalize the scars left by war.
Director Alexander Røsler
Countries of Production Norway
Year of Presentation 1997
Language(s) Norwegian with English subtitles
Premiere Status
Runtime 98 minutes
Principal Cast Thomas Jüngling Sørensen, Teresa Harder, Hans Kremer, Bjørn Sundquist
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