Far North

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  • PG-13
  • 2007
  • 1 hr 30 min
  • 6.1  (3,211)

Far North is a visually stunning movie set in the harsh, unforgiving landscape of the Arctic tundra. Released in 2007 and directed by Asif Kapadia, the film stars Michelle Yeoh as the enigmatic and resourceful saami woman, Saiva, who lives on the edge of the world with her adopted daughter, Anja (played by Michelle Krusiec). Their isolated existence is further complicated when a group of soldiers led by Thor (played by Sean Bean) arrive in their village. Thor is drawn to Saiva's strength and independence, but his presence also threatens their way of life, and the two women must decide whether to trust him or not.

The film is a haunting portrait of survival and the lengths we will go to protect those we love. Against a backdrop of rugged cliffs, icebergs, and shimmering auroras, the story unfolds with a quiet and measured pace, drawing the viewer into the primal world of these women.

The film's opening scene sets the tone for what's to come: Saiva and Anja, clad in thick furs, are shown trudging through deep snow towards their home, a modest tent perched on a rocky ledge overlooking the sea. The sound of howling winds and creaking ice punctuates their journey, along with the haunting score by Dario Marianelli.

What is immediately striking about the film is its attention to detail and realism. The production design is impeccable, with every prop, costume, and set piece feeling like it was plucked right from the pages of a history book. The characters' faces are etched with lines of weatherbeaten weariness, and their movements are precise and deliberate, as if every gesture requires a significant expenditure of energy.

As the plot unfolds, we get a glimpse into Saiva and Anja's past, including the heart-breaking sequence where they are forced to flee their village after an attack by invading soldiers. In the harsh wilderness, they must learn to survive on their own, finding shelter in abandoned cabins and subsistence by trapping wild animals. Saiva is a practical and resourceful woman, who confidently navigates the hazardous terrain, while Anja is more sensitive and introspective, prone to visions of spirits and dreams.

When Thor and his men arrive on the scene, seeking refuge from a snowstorm, the dynamic between the three characters changes in unexpected ways. Thor is drawn to Saiva's strength and independent spirit, and they share a mutual attraction that is complicated by their different backgrounds and goals. Saiva is mistrustful of the soldiers' intentions, while Anja is more open to their presence, sensing that they might offer a way out of their precarious existence.

The film is less concerned with plot twists and turns than it is with the emotional landscape and inner journeys of its characters. Yeoh delivers a striking performance as Saiva, conveying both strength and vulnerability with equal parts grace and intensity. Krusiec is also excellent as Anja, giving the character an ethereal quality that complements the harsh, desolate surroundings.

Far North is a movie that rewards patience and attention. Its themes of survival, love, and loyalty are universal, but the film's unique setting and cultural context give it a particular resonance. It's a movie that seeks to capture the beauty and danger of the Arctic wilderness, and to find meaning and purpose in a place that is often seen as a barren waste.

Far North is a 2007 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.1.

Far North
Where to Watch Far North
Far North is available to watch, stream, download and on demand at Apple TV Channels and The Roku Channel. Some platforms allow you to rent Far North for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 30 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.1  (3,211)