Margreth Olin’s Songs of Earth takes a meditative hike into the magnificent mountain landscapes of Norway, to the constantly changing nature and the finiteness of life. Our guides are Olin’s own aging parents, particularly her 84-year-old father Jørgen, in whose footsteps we walk through one of Norway’s most beautiful valleys. In there, in Oldedalen in West Norway, we find the childhood home of not only the director but also her father.
When, as a child, Olin asked her father to tell her a story, he instead took her on a nature walk. Now, the director spends a whole year going along on her father’s hikes. Their love and appreciation for their home and its web of life come through powerfully. The stories and memories of the family grow and entwine into the closed paths and lived-in places. Jørgen’s treks through breathtaking views ground the audience to the key questions of life.
Songs of Earth is a seasonal quartet of fantastic nature images, inviting us to watch, listen, and stop. The sounds whispered by the land are transformed into an audiovisual symphony in the hands of the London Contemporary Orchestra. The camera caresses the stone and ice like skin, as after all, they are parts of the same living fabric as we humans. Reaching over generations, time becomes a part of the majestic mountain views while reminding us that even mountains are not forever.
Minna Nurmi (translated by Inari Ylinen)