Alnaelva (2012) is a two-part documentary film project
featuring Oslo’s eastern river valley.
The Alna valley plays a key role in the redevelopment plans for Oslo’s industrial east, and the river itself is claimed by many different parties. There are disagreements over what the river means, who the river serves, what is natural to the river, what is true to the river’s history, what is best for the river. Is the water a natural habitat to be conserved or an amenity to be developed? Should public regeneration be planned to benefit private developers? The Alna is offered as a talismanic force through which the landscape is potentially transformed, and at the same time as a proxy for the people themselves, who must be dredged and filtered and pumped into new channels, before their lives will sparkle.
Alnaelva I (12minutes) is a large-scale film and audio installation structured around a series of field recordings made along the river Alna from a district called Ammerud to the Oslofjord. Its richly-detailed, monumental cinematic scenes and precisely captured location sound bring an intense and poetic attention to parts of the city which pass mostly unseen and unremarked.
Alnaelva II (42 minutes) is a documentary that follows seven different figures – a city politician, a sociologist, a landscape architect, an engineer, a property developer, a local historian and a spokesman for the Friends of the river – as they offer contrasting views of the river’s significance and future role. Like characters in a courtroom drama they each present their case, a patchwork of views that is as fragmented as the contested landscape itself.