As young children, the half-siblings Axel and Yanne are adopted to Norway, he to material wealth on Oslo's west side, she to an average family on the east side to town. With his well-meaning, but indulgent adoptive parents, Axel grows up to become a spoiled brat who hides the insecurity of his troubled past behind an Indifferent facade. In contrast to her younger brother, Yanne remembers their journey to Norway, but because they were separated upon arrival, she has no idea where or who he might be now. However, all this is about to change as Yanne's Polish friend Maria starts working as a maid for Alex's parents, and discovers a photograph of him as a young boy. Maria has seen the same picture on the wall of Yanne's flat, and with an outsider's unrestrained enthusiasm, she takes on the task of reuniting them. Yanne isn't immediately convinced that contacting her brother after all these years is such a good idea; she's already got her hands full with Per, a tormented ex-marine with a full load of demons In his baggage after serving in Afghanistan. For her part, Maria becomes much more intimately involved with the son in the house than would seem proper for a maid, and soon finds herself entangled in a turbulent affair with her friend's little brother. Before she has time to realize the consequences, she has sparked a chain of events that Involves many more feelings than just her own.

Director's Statement

UPPERDOG is a story from contemporary Oslo. Four young, charming, hot-blooded, self-centred and passionate people are forced to reconsider their view of themselves and the world around them. They lose balance, lose themselves In the confusion between truth and lies. The story has a serious note: a soldier has done wrong In Afghanistan, an adopted boy misses his sister. I wish to portray the serious as Important and beautiful, and the humoristic as liberating and human. UPPERDOG is about seeing other people, and not just yourself. About coming to terms with your own past. About the brother-sister relationship and worry for the ones you love. But above all, UPPERDOG Is about the liberation which may be found in the love between people.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Sara Johnsen

Written by: Sara Johnsen

Produced by: Christian Fredrik Martin, Asle Vatn, Dirk Decker (Dirk Decker), Michael Eckelt

Cinematography: John Andreas Andersen

Editing: Zaklina Stojcevska

Production Design: Jack van Domburg

Cast: Agnieszka Grochowska, Hermann Sabado, Mads Sjogärd Pettersen

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2010