Leve Blant Lover
/ 1998 / Norwegian / Color / 35mm (1: 1.85) / 83 min
Director, Script , Producer: Sigve Endresen
Photography: Hallgrim Ødegård
Editing: Lisa Ekberg
Music: Knut Reiersrud, Reidar Skår
Sound: Gunnar Meidell
Production Company: Motlys AS
Source: Norwegian Film Institute
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Born in Norway in 1953. He made his directorial debut in 1978 with
the short documentary, Kølabu. In 1983 he helped found
the production company Motlys, known for its documentary productions.
He has extensive experience as a producer and director of documentaries.
His best known documentaries, For Your Life (1989), and Big
Boys Don't Cry (1994-95) have won critical acclaim and have attracted
many viewers. The first recieved three Amanda awards and the second
was seen on TV throughout Europe. He also directed and co-wrote the
feature film The Changelings in 1991. In 1989 he won the Norwegian
film industry's highest award, Aamot Statuette.
Living Amongst Lions records 18 months in the lives of three
young people ravaged by cancer. Centering on 27-year-old Ingunn, 21-year-olds
Lars and Kristin, and their friends, the film questions the value
of life and the meaning of living through the thoughts and emotions
of these three young people who face death together while still in
their youth. "The best part of my life has come after being diagnosed
with cancer," words of one of the three, lie heavily over the
film. What suffering and disappointments accompany the knowledge that
one has only a short time to come to terms with the journey towards
death, especially when that knowledge is the background to light-hearted
conversations with friends, crazy antics, travel, marriage and other
scenes that could be from any young person's life? A documentary filmmaker
since 1978, Sigve Endresen reconstructs the evidence of these young
people's lives and delineates the meanings of life and death as he
follows their hopes and disappointments, dreams and realities, peace
and difficulties. As disclosed at the end of the film, the title comes
from Karen Blixen's novel Out of Africa. Its meaning? Only
those who face their own death are truly free. [Murayama Kyoichiro]
"Did this really have to happen, in order for me to know, feel
and understand the meaning of life"
Those who say, "I am going to die," are suddenly alone.
Most of us go about our lives thinking we are immortal. But by being
alienated from death, we are also alienated from life. And it is not
at all atypical, that we first learn to take life seriously the day
we discover we are going to die. Death provokes change.
I have wanted to make a film about death for a long time. About the
paradox that death gives meaning to life. And about how, by banishing
death, by hiding it away in institutions, we lose an important perspective
on life. I have tried to make a film about death that can be an affirmation
and tribute to life.
Living Amongst Lions refers back to a scene from Karen Blixen's
novel Out of Africa. She describes an episode where several
oxen have been killed by lions, and her foreman suggests that they
should poison one of the dead oxen, so that when the lions come to
eat, they will die from the poisoned meat. Karen Blixen says that
the lions should not be poisoned; they should be shot. When the foreman
asserts that this is too dangerous and he doesn't dare, Karen Blixen
replies, "Only that which can die, is truly free." Then
she goes on a lion hunt.
I have followed several young people who have been diagnosed with
cancer and told they are going to die. I have stayed with them through
their process of learning to "live amongst lions." For me
this is a film about their experiences, crises, growth and reflections,
that can teach us quite a bit about what life is all about.
COPYRIGHT:Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee