WHERE MOUNTAINS FALL (2012)
58 minutes. HD video

Where Mountains Fall tells the stories of Anna Stensholm and Anne Lånan, who were the last inhabitants that left when the islands Lånan and Hinskjæret in the Vega archipelago in Northern Norway. The islands had been cultivated for 1000 years until they had to be abandoned. After the Second World War the Norwegian government subsidised moving to the islands until the late 70ies. Due to a more centralised settlement policy the islands were then given up and are now only inhabited during the summer to tend the eider ducks and to collect the eider down feathers. In this film they return to the islands together with the filmmaker and recount: how did they manage to get along in this environment, to survive and to navigate it? The two women activate their memory of a longlost time – they present us their story of a bygone life on the island. Their personal stories and reflections take us through nostalgia and the beauty of nature, and offer an insight into the physical and psychical strategies of coping with rough weather as well as everyday life in a small community. Furu follows the gradual reconstruction of memory while speaking – a film about a specific past – a flow of memories, a told self-assurance. Social control, exclusion of the newcomers and in-laws, possible alternatives, struggle with and symbiosis with nature are discussed: Not only dealing with wind, weather, and waves was arduous – living together in a closely-knit community manifests itself as at least as difficult, every step and action was watched and commented on by neighbours. Both women sensed this especially since they were newcomers and in-laws themselves and they describe their resistance against it. In Furu’s description of the two women and the depopulated island communities, general and existential questions rise to the surface.