Norway

Synopsis

What happens to us when people stop acting like they're supposed to? A nurse gets into a dispute at work because she switches to speaking English when she gets nervous. A translator compromises her integrity when persuaded to translate a book she doesn't believe in. An elderly woman and her daughter are humiliated when offered a present of one million kroner from a relative. I BELONG is a warm and nuanced film about people who all mean well, but end up hurting one another. About how people who act on integrity and feelings are seen as troublesome in a society where the ideal is to behave rationally. A playful drama-comedy about how what seems like something of little importance to one person, can seem like a grand disaster to another.

Director's Statement

I BELONG is a film where seemingly trivial issues form the grounds for boundless drama. The frame story is a book, which consists of three different stories with one common theme, which then is illuminated in three different ways. The theme is supposed to accelerate so that what feels pretty trivial and trifling at the beginning will be perceived as a matter of life and death by the end. All the stories are about people who are forced to make decisions that compromise their integrity. Each of the three stories focus on one or several women, and the stories get going through seemingly benign everyday conflicts that occur either at work or in family life, brought out by differences in their idea of work ethic, artistic integrity or class affiliation. The three main characters each represent a kind of person who functions totally normally, who's intelligent and independent, but who, in a tight situation, can react in ways that make others see them as "difficult." This response pattern can be perceived as a weakness because it's not what's expected of them, setting them apart from what's normal. It's meant to start small, for the problems to become increasingly general as the stories develop. While you could be left with the feeling that the problems are due to the character's personal attributes after the first story, after the last you think that it's not about the weakness of individuals, but rather a larger societal problem.
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Dag Joham Haugerud

Written by: Dag Joham Haugerud

Produced by: Yngve Sæther

Cinematography: Kim Hiorthøy

Editing: Jens Christian Fodstad

Production Design: Tuva Hølmebakk

Costume Design: Bente Ulvik

Original Score: Peder Kjellsby

Sound: Gunn Tove Grønsberg

Cast: Laila Goody, Ragnhild Hilt, Andrea Bræin Hovig, Henriette Steenstrup, Anne Marit Jacobsen

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2013