|MPAA Rating (USA):||Not rated (11 years in Norway)|
|Director:||Erik Richter Strand|
|Starring:|| Nils Jørgen Kaalstad|
Mikkel Bratt Silset
Ingrid Bolsø Berdal
Sons (Norwegian: Sønner) is a 2006 Norwegian film focusing on the conflict between a pederast and the boys with whom he has had intimate relationships (his "sons"). It is Erik Richter Strand's first feature film as a director, and the feature-film debut of producer Eric Vogel and cinematographer Johan-Fredrik Bødker.
Lars (Kaalstad) is a 25-year-old man who is going nowhere in life. He is a life guard in a swimming hall in the eastern parts of Oslo (characterized by its lower middle class population). Lars just wants to do good, but his abilities aren't always up to the challenges. He is well-meaning but his temper is easily and violently triggered — a problem which Lars has had for all of his life. Together with his best buddy Jørgen (Schultheiss) he has a troubled adolescence in his past history. Jørgen is transitioning to adult living cohabiting with his partner and children, whilst Lars is still living the bachelor's life with soccer and beer being core ingredients.
One day at a swimming pool, Lars recognizes an acquaintance from his past, Hans (Mestad), a middle aged man with a reputation of "fiddling" with the teenage boys in the neighbourhood. Lars alerts Anja (Enstad) who is the manager of the pool and also Jørgen's live-in partner, that Hans is a menace and needs to be barred from using the facilities. Anja instead figures that Lars needs to get his act together and stop making uncorroborated accusations. Next Lars acquaints Tim (Bratt Silset), a boy who has been with Hans. Lars then erupts, losing his rationality overcome by rage.
The film received highly positive reviews from Norwegian film critics. Dagbladet's movie critic Inger Bentzrud gave the film a dice throw of 5 out of 6, writing (translated from Norwegian): "The hunt for the molester takes place in a thriller-like race against the police. But still the film leaves a large room for reflection by providing such a multi-dimensional picture of the relationship between the perpetrator and the abused boys. As a debut work this shows both courage and social commitment".
On the webpages of TV 2, film critic Vibeke Johnsen gives the film 6 point (of 6 possible), and she wrote: "This is visionary and mainstream both at the same time. You are going to have to look around long for a film where script, direction, acting and credibility all click together as well. In other words; Sønner is a film you do not want to miss".
Variety writes: "A hard-hitting and thoughtful drama about a young man's quest to expose a pedophile, Sons is an impressive first film by young Norwegian writer-director Erik Richter Strand [...]. Intense semi-thriller maintains interest without slipping into cliche, and has an ending both satisfying and unexpected".
Sons has participated in more than 20 film festivals around the globe having its international premiere at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain. Among its numerous trophies the film has won the Fassbinder Award in Mannheim, Germany, and The Grand Jury Award at the Seattle International Film Festival in the USA.
- Official website: http://www.sonner.no (in Norwegian)
- Internet Movie Database
- Sønner (Trailer) (YouTube)