Hamsun (1996) - full transcript

Knut Hamsun is Norway's most famous and admired author. Ever since he was young he has hated the English for the starvation they caused Norway during WWI. When the Germans occupy Norway on April 9, 1940, he welcomes them and the protection they can give from Great Britain. He supports the national socialist ideals, but opposes the way these ideals are turned into action - that Norwegians are jailed and executed. His wife Marie travels in Germany during the war as a sign of support from Knut and herself.

As I walk down the overgrown
path through the forest,

my heart trembles
with supernatural joy.

I remember a place near
the east coast of the Caspian Sea -

- where once I stood.
It was like here.

And the water was calm,
heavy and iron-grey, as now.

I walked through the forest.
I was moved to tears, euphoric.

I said: "God in heaven,
to think I'd ever walk here again!"

As if I'd been there before.


It's over.
Germany has surrendered.

The Reich Minister has declared
unconditional surrender...

Are you Hamsun? The traitor?

Mother told me
to throw back your book.

Why did you become a traitor?


My dear Marie, when I woke up
in my hotel room last night, -

- I went over to the window.
The bird cherry was in bloom.

And you were there
In every little part of the flower.

You lovely, healthy,
obliging country girl.

You who were stages truck
four years ago.

Innocent, and with unsurpassed
skills as a wife and a mother.

I must consider whether
a stages truck girl like yourself -

can marry a man...

- who opposes these interests
with every fibre of his body.

I will always love you.

A day's work wasted.

Stop whining.

A day's work wasted?!

When was the last time
you wrote anything?

You said yourself, you were
washed-up, finished. Well, I'm not!

- I'm moving out tomorrow.
- What a relief.

What a relief! But why did you have
to take up 30 years of my life?

If only you had drowned yourself
30 years ago and let me have a life.

What a fool I've been.
You lied!

You never cared for me.
You were disappointed.


The holy mother.
The holy, soiled hands.

The depraved city where you sat in
the hotel, writing about the soil, -

- leaving me to have children.
You even took the theatre from me.

You mocked it.
You promised me a leading part.

- You said you'd write me a play.
- So that was why you...

You are a terrible playwright!

Then you got me pregnant and
went on about your high principles.

You've whored your ideals to death,
whored in every possible way.

At your own family's expense.
Whored, you have! Whored! Whored!

God almighty, I'm 76!

How about that fool of an actor
you whored with?

To die of volvulus. Pathetic!

My dear little Knut.

Back then you were jealous.

At least I didn't feel small.
He didn't belittle me.

- 30 years ago, but you remember.
- Shrunk and belittled.

Just this small.
Oh, you get your way.

No doubt everyone flocked around
the Nobel Prize winner in Oslo, -

- while I was left here to play
the little country girl.

And the children...

The children were sent away
so as not to disturb the great mind.

What have you done to us?
I'm 54 years old, Knut.

You've made me old.
You molded me!

Molded me!

I tried to please you.
But I was never good enough.

I was good enough when you were
away and wrote me love letters.

But when you came home
and saw me, I was never good enough.

You've made me ugly!

God almighty.
We've made each other ugly.

- What matters is that I'm dying.
- But I want to live!

- Good.
- Now!


I hold the ideals
you've given me, Knut.

- Good.
- I hold them, though you failed me.

Did you ever really like
the children's books I wrote?

What matters is that I'm dying.

Did you think my books
were any good?

It's such a long time ago.

Do you want a divorce?

From Knut Hamsun?
A king doesn't tolerate divorce.

Queens just have to live with that.
It's their role.

Well, there's your role then,
my dear.

Our misfortune, Marie, -

- is that I, who so despise
the theatre, love an actress.

"The countess of the field
isn't there.

Inger is inside cooking."

"Tall and majestic. A vestal virgin
lighting up the stove."

"Inger has sailed the seven seas
and seen the big city,

but now she's home again."

"The world is big
and swarming with dots."

"Ingers warmed too."

"She was hardly anyone
among men. Only one."

"And now it is night."

When Knut Hamsun received the
Nobel Prize for literature in 1920, -

- it only confirmed
what everyone knew:

That he is the greatest
Norwegian alive today.

He has brought to life
everything that is Norwegian.

Indeed, he is Norway.

Tonight, we've once again
felt the magic

in the words of
this Norwegian giant.

Thank you very much,
Mrs Hamsun. Thank you.

We humbly ask you to give the
great poet of Norholm our regards.

- May we ask that of you?
- I'll give him your regards.

From all of us.
From the whole world!

- I will tell... the great poet.
- Thank you.

We are honoured. Your wife called
and said you wanted to stay here.

For a while.

- Your wife called...
- I want to stay here.

She called
in the middle of the night.

Are you still talking about my wife?
Don't talk about her.

Go away.

So it's over?

Strange. Just when the end
of life itself is near.

- Have you thought about that?
- Why did you give up writing?

It's a long time ago you were here.
That's what I've thought about.

I understand
Your hatred for him, but...

Father is so strong.
So very unreasonably strong.

- But if he's dying...
- What if he isn't?

He won't die unless he wants to.
Mother's problem is...

When you've gone through what
you have, it's hard to split up.

Little Tore, little Arild,
little Ellinor,

little Cecilia, little Marie...

and Knut the Great.
A proper model family.

- I'm so glad I got away from you.
- I didn't want you to forget us.

It belongs here at Norholm.

It's absurd that father's living
at the inn. Have him come home.

- Cecilia!
- It's embarrassing.

Adolf Hitler is showing the way
to the greater Europe -

- where Norway will take
its place of honour at the table.

And where the women of Norway, too,
will take their rightful place.

They carry the ideals, nurture our
young and set an example to us men.

They are the keepers of good morals,
the centre of the family.

In the struggle against decadence,
they stay in the bosom of the family.

And there, with their strength and
Their pure faces facing the sun, -

- they will play the leading role
in the future -

- for which the Nationalist Party
and Adolf Hitler are fighting.

It warms me to hear one of the few
whose ideals are intact.

I didn't know women played such
a large role in National Socialism.

They play an immense role.

60% of all German
women support the Fuhrer.

- 60%, maybe more.
- That many?

Maybe more.

Excuse me,
but what is your name?

Hamsun. Marie Hamsun.

- Related to the Nobel Prize winner?
- His wife.


- Maybe we could talk?
- Talk with me? Why?

- It was nice to meet you.
- Yes...



The family
centred around the woman.

Women are the pillars of the society,
and society the pillar of... women.

This was where Knut and I first met.
I was an actress then.

Yes, it's heart warming.
It makes one happy.

Knut wanted it that way.

Once again,
thank you for meeting me here.

I've sacrificed my life for that.

If it were pointless, my whole life
would be pointless, Mr. Quisling.

It's by no means
a pointless sacrifice.

- To sacrifice one's life for...
- For what?

- For a cause.
- A cause?

The cause.

When I heard you speak,
I realized -

- there still are men whose ideals
are intact, who don't fail.

- Thank you.
- Not all sacrifices are pointless.

Thank you.

I hope that you, for me,..

- are able to hold but a fraction
of the high regard we all have -

for your husband.

You will be a model
for all Norwegian wives.

- But I'm just Knut's wife.
- A model.

That is the most important
of all parts.

Are we agreed, then?

You're coming home.
The car will pick you up tomorrow.

Very well.

Have you written anything at all
during all this?

- I'll never write another word.
- Good.

The worst part of all this is
that I've lost all respect for you.

Quisling didn't get many votes.
A pity, he's my man.

He got a mere 26,000 votes.

- And only one from this region.
- Yes. That was mine.

And I'm proud of it.

I'm proud of it.

And so we present
the award for 1939

- to the greatest poet of our time
and a true friend of Germany.

Marie, tell them I'm grateful.

Knut Hamsun thanks you for
the German Booksellers' Award.

His love for the German people, -

- German culture and
for National Socialism is great.

It is just as strong as his hatred
for British imperialism.

He sends the German people
his regards and his thanks.

What did you say? I just told you
to thank them. You went on and on.

I told them you hated Britain
and loved Germany. Well, don't you?

- Don't you?
- Yes, damn it, but don't carry on.

Mrs Hamsun, maybe you should be
a little more discreet.

- Discreet?
- War may break out.

He may be exploited.
He needs the best advisors.

As his publisher, you must know
he won't take advice from anyone.

- Maybe from you?
- Particularly not from me.

But you are his ear, or rather,
voice. I heard so just now.

Aren't you content with
making money off us?


You must eat, Ellinor.
Have some of daddy's sugarloaf.

Why do you starve yourself?
Come on, eat.

I beg you.

- Look, I command you...
- I won't let you command me.

You may have all the toadies
eating off your prize-winning hand.

- But I won't, father.
- My dear little child.

You never should've had children.
You couldn't stand our crying.

It interfered with all the great
thoughts in your great mind.

So you sent us away.
Away, away, away.

We were sent away to study
at awfully posh schools in France.


I'll eat as I please.

- Dearest Ellinor, I only wanted...
- We were nothing but a nuisance.

- Except for photographs with you.
- I've always loved you.

In fact, more than...

No, but always.

You must eat something.

Father, the butter's all dirty.
I love you.

But I won't eat.

- Where are you going?
- To Oslo. Don't you remember?

Good morning.

The British
have mined the Vest fjord.


- Ellinor, you're drunk!
- The British have mined the fjord.

Careful, Marie.
They might invade us.

- Rather a war than your battles.
- We have four children!

Tore's exhibition is opening, and
though the two of you don't care...

You hear what you want to.
Tore's exhibition is opening.

What is it that keeps going
without going anywhere?

You and your clocks, father.

You know... Both you and I
would like time to stand still.

My dear Marle...

Give me your hands.

The hands of an angel, Marie.

You have the same hands
as grandmother.

- Do you think about her a lot?
- Yes, my sunshine.

- Are you happy?
- Yes, almost happy.

- How will I get to Oslo?
- Walk to Nesodden and go by bus.

There's a bus?

In view of the situation, it is
the duty of the Nationalists -

- to take control of the government
and protect Norwegian interests

and maintain our independence.

We alone, in virtue of the
national goal of our movement,

can do this and get our country
out of the desperate situation

which our politicians
have brought upon us.

We strongly urge all Norwegians
to remain calm and composed -

- in this our country's
most trying of times.

Only through
our common good will-

- can we get Norway through
this crisis as a free country.

In view of the present situation, -

- any further resistance
will not only be pointless, -

- but will be regarded as criminal
destruction of property and lives.

- What do you think he'll do?
- Quisling?

- Father.
- Play solitaire.

Maybe I should ask
what you are going to do.

I'm glad they beat the English to it.

We immediately moved inland,
where Norwegian troops,

incited by British agents and radio,

were offering their assistance.

It's simple.
You'll get three live rounds each,

and then you will proceed
onto the truck.

Get out of here.

Three rounds, three Germans.

Get on the truck.

- Where are they going?
- Setesdal.

- What do you need a rifle for?
- Knut Hamsun? My mum knows you.

Are you Hamsun?

I've read some of your books.

We'll defend your books
against those bloody Nazi swine.

Hamsun, the soul of Norway.
The king said so himself!

Anything for Norway!



In any kind of weather
we'll fight the enemy

fight for old Norway

Norwegians! When the British,
with unheard of brutality,

invaded Jossing fjord,
violating our sovereignty,

you did nothing.

When they then went on
to mine our coastline

in order to bring the war onto
Norwegian soil, you did nothing.

But when the Germans
occupied Norway, -

- it preventing us from being forced
into war, then you did something.

You ganged up
with our cowardly king -

- and his private government,
and mobilized.

It won't do you any good
to take your rifles -

- and face the Germans
frothing at the mouth.

Some day, if not tomorrow,
you will all be bombed.

Britain can't help you with
anything but a few little groups -

- that roam the valleys
begging for food.

"Norwegians! Lay down your rifles.
Go home. Germany fights for us all

and will crush the British tyranny
against us and neutral countries."

Our honoured Nobel Prize winner
asks Norwegian soldiers

to lay down their arms
and desert.

It makes me sick.
How are we going to explain this?

Such an act has always
received the maximum punishment.

To think the Nazis have such
a magic flute at their disposal.

And we can't afford to lose it.

Oh yes, we will be forced to.

It's a proper little tour.

I'll be reading in 42 cities.
Mostly in theatres.

Mainly to women,
but also to soldiers.

The Fuhrer says that kind of
moral support is very important.

I'll read from
"The Growth of the Soil".

With regards from Knut Hamsun,
of course.

I plan to end each reading...

...with the wish for
a speedy German victory.

Won't he be reading?

The most pro-German
Nobel Prize winner alive, -

- the great genius,
doesn't speak German.

- Won't he at least be present?
- No, he hasn't the strength.

He wants me to be his voice.

Furthermore, he is so deaf
that I have to be his ear, too.

It's not exactly easy.

He's sunk three British ships.

I asked if they were battleships,
and he replied: "Ja. Naturlich."

Why do you hate Britain so?

The imperialism.
The industrialism.

The hunger blockade against
our country, against the children!

Mass murders in India.
Concentration camps in South Africa.

- Culture...
- One word!

The arrogance!

I thought Norway was to take
a prominent place in the new Europe.

That free Norwegians would lead...

Don't you think so anymore?

Why don't you join them?

Why don't you join them?

I dreamt about you last night.

I flew up high...
It was like in the old days.

I flew up high like an albatross,
and then I saw you on the ground.

You looked like a little finch
with a broken wing.

I wanted to land,
but my wings refused. They flew on.

I couldn't land.
I could feel your fear...

Hamsun, Hamsun, Hamsun...

Mr Grieg...

...a gold mine, I bet?

- He used to be.
- Yes, he used to be.

- And his wife?
- She's in Germany.

And the next stop for you,
Mr. Grieg, is Grini.

Gentlemen, the intellectual
resistance men -

- we've sent to Grini are
avowed enemies of the new Germany.

The intellectuals at Grini
are enemies of the new Germany.

Please sit down.

- Do you know what they call me?
- They call me names.

- "Bloodhound? and the like.
- "Bloodhound" and so on.

Your treatment of Ronald Fangen
harms Germany's cause in Norway.

And now Harald Grieg!

The Ronald Fangen case
harms Germany's reputation...

I don't agree with them, but...

They don't think
the Fuhrer is a great man.

Neither of these two think
the Fuhrer is a great man.

Contrary to you.

I don't judge
the greatness of a man -

- by the size of the movement
he has created.

A man's greatness has nothing to do
with the size of his following.

I judge it by the taste
it leaves in my mouth.

To be a great man
is to teach them about power, -

- all these imbeciles,
these supermen with power.

Caiaphas. Pilate. The emperor.

A great man is one who can teach
the imbeciles what power is, -

- the supermen with power.

I'm no democrat,
Herr Reichskommissar...

You can make the mob so vast
that it will seize control.

Hand them a butcher's knife
and let them rip and kill and win.

Whip them
into winning an election.

Winning intellectually,
or leading the world forward, -

- are things the mob cannot do.
Supermen can lead the mob.

Great minds don't ride horses.

Why aren't you translating?

- I don't need any translation.
- He doesn't need a translation.

A great artist
needs no translation.

He's simply there.

You are a great artist,
Herr Hamsun.

That is why we love you.
The Fuhrer sends his regards.

- I don't want to be photographed.
- That'll do.

Do you think he realizes
he's being used?

The great master.

Submissively bowing down
before the German executioner.

Thank you for your letter.

It's hard to find your way
around here.

What's the news on Harald Grieg?

I'm afraid it's out of my hands...

- Speak up! I'm hard of hearing.
- Terboven...

You have to talk to Terboven.

Only he can do something
about it. Terboven.

He's not my man. But you are.

I thought you were
head of the government, Mr Quisling.

Yes. Finally, we can
form a Norwegian government.

Thanks to the Fuhrer.

The Fuhrer asked me to send you
his regards. He thanks you.

- Thanks me? For what?
- For having mentioned the Jews.

"Roosevelt is a Jew..."

Jew... Roosevelt.

"... paid by the Jews, the driving
force behind the American war, -

- over gold and Jewish power."
We've waited for your outspokenness.

I'm not an anti-Semite. And I don't
understand Hitler's anti-Semitism.

- I don't understand him.
- Haven't you read ?Mein Kampf"?

No, I never got around to it.

But I've read the reviews.

But what you write is true.

And you do believe the Norwegian race
to be the same as the German.

- Race, that is.
- People.


Anyway, the Fuhrer thanks you.

We're reviving the old constitution
which bans Jews from Norway.

A Jew is an oriental,
and he doesn't belong in Europe.

- What will you do with them?
- They will...

- They will be re-educated.
- What?

It's just a word. As a poet you have
a better way with words than I.

You are a master of words,
and that gives you power.

What do you mean?

I mean that the Fuhrer thanks
you for those words.

"Inger swarmed, too."

"She was hardly anyone
among men."

"Only one."

"And now it is night."

Finally, I'd like to give you
my husband's kind regards.

The poet Knut Hamsun wishes
with all of his heart

that Germany will be victorious.

But he also wishes
that Norway will be free again.

Mrs Hamsun, your contribution
to the war effort

is very praiseworthy.

Your reading of ?The Growth
of the Soil" has moved us deeply.

The Wehrmacht copy is our soldiers'
most prized possession.

And thus art, great poetry,
aids us in our struggle.

Mrs Hamsun, would you?

It belongs to my son.
He loves to read it.

You know I want my porridge
so the spoon will stand upright.

Upright, by itself.
What are you bawling about?

Well, you see, Mr Hamsun...

Mette's brother in Grimstad...

He was with the Resistance.

Now Terboven is going to have
them shot. There were 13 of them.

Two from Grimstad.

Don't cry, my dear.
You mustn't cry.

Oh well, a couple of lice
more or less makes no difference.

Mr Hamsun...

Do you recall you stayed at
our hotel while you were writing?

What do you want?

You have to intercede for Esben,
for them all, with Terboven.

The Germans trust you.
The boys are going to be shot.

- Have you seen my father?
- Not since he left for his stroll.

They've tortured him.
Burnt the soles of his feet.

Torn out his finger nails!

Intercede for him, Mr Hamsun.
They've tortured him.

He's only 20,
and now he's going to die!

Be quiet!

You're a Nazi.
It said so in the paper.

- Please ask Terboven...
- I can't do that.

They don't listen to me.
I keep sending them telegrams.

- Stop begging me.
- Don't you understand?

Dear, kind Mr Hamsun.
He's going to die.

You pig!
You dirty German pig!

What's his name?

You can't sit there, father.

I just want to die in peace.

But they throw themselves at me,
screaming and yelling.

Come on, let's go home.

- Did you know Esben?
- Which Esben?

Esben Brodersen, 12 Solvgate.

Are you in distress, father?
Is it really bad?

I just wanted to die in peace
when all this started.

Well, you can't,
so you'll have to live with it.

What am I to do?

It's too late to ask my advice.

- It's too late, father.
- What is it?

"Idealism isn't just an armchair
occupation," to quote mother.

Are you out of your mind?
What good will it do?

You're going to enlist?

The Eastern Front? You don't even
know what a rifle looks like.

What will you do? Write poems?
Have you thought this through?

Who put this insane idea
into your head? Mother?


- Don't worry about it.
- But it's absurd.

You can't possibly have
come up with this yourself.


Arild, you're a...
poet by nature.

It's absurd.
What is happening to our family?

- Everything's in ruins.
- I came here to...

- Another plea for mercy?
- What of it?

You do think the idiots deserve a
beating, at least, if not being shot.

- Don't you?
- Go.

Well, no one's been pardoned yet.
Maybe it'd help if I wrote.

Maybe Terboven likes me better.

You couldn't be bothered.
You're far too busy in Germany.

When I think about
how happy we used to be...

How did we end like this?

Please go, Marie. Haven't we
tormented each other enough?


I'm leaving in a week.

I'm training at Lichtenfelde West,
and then on to the Eastern Front.

- This is her doing.
- No, I'm following my conscience.

But you're going to be an author.
What do you want a rifle for?

You're the one always praising the
Norwegian lads fighting Bolshevism.

He's not an armchair philosopher.
He's true to his ideals.

- You should respect that.
- They are your ideals.

This was my own decision!

I'm glad to see you're worried.
You never have been before.

So maybe it's about time.

I take your writings seriously.
It matters a lot to me.

- But what good will it do?
- It's all for the cause.

The fight against Bolshevism.
My conscience!

- You talked him into this.
- It's his own choice.

I've given hundreds of lectures
about the sacrifice.

Women must be brave and send their
sons off to fight the Bolsheviks.

I tell them not to think about
how long their son will live, -

- but whether he'll achieve
anything in his life.

"Could you send yours off?" they ask.
"No, it would break my heart."

But the boys make up their own minds.
It's their own affair.

"Their own affair"?

I get letters begging me to
intercede for the condemned boys.

They're pro-British, but that's their
own affair. It's their decision.

But to have a handful of our boys
slaughtered, what good will it do?

Write it down, dear Knut.
You are a master of words.

But, Arild...


Go on, write about it. About
sacrificing your life for something.

About sacrificing yourself for
somebody else. I'm sure you can.

About the sacrifice!

"This is addressed to
the pro-British."

"One would think they had
more sense in their heads."

"They want to help Britain.
Fine. That's their own affair."

Their own affair...

"But they won't help Britain
by getting themselves killed."

"They believe Britain will win.
Very well."

"But then why do they risk
their own lives?"

- Dinner's served.
- Thank you. After you.

- He writes well.
- He's written to Terboven, too.

Maliciously and well.

These resistance people
believe Britain will win.

They want them to win.
Sooner or later.

Well, that's their own affair.

But do you think
Britain will win?

If so, both Vidkun Quisling
and Knut Hamsun -

- are headed for the scaffold
as traitors.

I apologize for my wife.
She's Russian, and she's afraid.

She can't sleep at night.

She isn't strong by nature.

It's more in her nature to worry...
for me.

She's not as strong as you,
Mrs Hamsun. Not at all.

You have great strength.
You have no doubts.

- No.
- You are incredibly strong.

Incredibly strong.

I've been very afraid in my life.
But that was then.

Then came the cause.

But I do remember
what it was like to be afraid.

But now? No.

You're going to...
meet with Terboven?

Grieg is at Grini.
Rumour has it he's quite ill.

- Knut wants me to intercede for him.
- Why doesn't he do it himself?

Terboven doesn't like him much.
They agree about the end.

- But not about the means.
- I see.

But I'll get Grieg out.

And then I'll tell him. He'll never
forgive me for saving him.

He once said my books were so
well written, Knut must've helped.

You have strong passions,
Mrs Hamsun. Cheers.

Strong passions.

I swear by almighty God...

...that I, in the battle
against Bolshevism...

...will pledge allegiance...

...to the German army's warlord,
Adolf Hitler.

And as a brave soldier,
I will be at all times ready...

...to put my life at risk
for this pledge.

"For three years now,
they've learned the bloody lesson

that it leads to incarceration
and death."

"Why not remain calm
and just wait for Britain to win?"

"Their own affair."

Your husband certainly has
a way with words. A true poet.

My husband would laugh at
being called that, I'm sure.

Or complain.

I'm not here
on a courtesy visit.

I've brought my son
because I'm very much afraid.

Do I look like I bite?

No, you don't.

- Your daughter?
- Yes.

I have a son risking his life
on the Eastern Front.

Hamsun asks you to have mercy
on the group from Grimstad.

Harald Grieg, yes.

But if I pardon the Grimstad group,
we might as well end the war!

To our people, Knut Hamsun is
something of a patriarch.

That's how he thinks of himself, too.

It would hurt him terribly.

He has quite a reputation
In Germany, too.

I'll take it into consideration.

Thank you very much,
Herr Reichskommissar.

If you would primarily think
about the two Grimstad boys -

Hamsun knows...

They'll get special treatment.

Very special treatment
because of Hamsun's concern.

Ivar Dalheim.

Esben Brodersen.




I particularly asked him to have
mercy on the two from Grimstad.

He must go.

He's drowning Norway in blood.

"Herr Hitler, you know I admire you."

"And I believe in your dream
about a great, new Europe -

- in which a free Norway
in the far north -

- will take an honourable
and prominent place at the table."

"But the sceptics say
Norway will be a protectorate -

- under German rule.
What am I to say?"

"Herr Hamsun, I assure you
that my dream is the same..."

"Herr Hitler, I do not doubt
your dream of a new Europe."

"But you're a mortal, too.
When you're gone, -

will Norway then be guaranteed
constitutional rights -

ensuring our independence?"

"Herr Hamsun, why do you persist
in this legal quibbling?"

"Herr Hitler, I agitated for
a free Norway in 1905."

"You were hardly even born then!"
No, I can't say that.

- What on earth are you doing?
- Go away. I'm rehearsing.

- Aren't I going with you to Hitler?
- That's out of the question!

There's talk of a historic meeting
like that of Goethe and Napoleon.

They say you're meeting Adolf Hitler.
Can you confirm this rumour?

I'm going to Vienna to speak
at a journalists' conference.

Ladles and gentlemen.

Please excuse me -

- for being so bold as to
stand up here in front of you.

I get weary of writing
and I can't speak.

Representatives from all
European nations are sitting here.

All I ask from you
is to accept a greeting -

- from a poet
up in the far north.

He wrote books
until he became too weary.

And all he can ask for now
Is benevolence. He's too old.

But here is the little piece
I have written.

My friend and translator,
Mr Holmboe.

As a Norwegian, I want to make
the following statement:

I'm anti-British by conviction,
but it is a known fact -

- that most of my countrymen
support the British.

Germany, however, is alone -

- in going against
Britain?s poisonous politics.

However bravely Germany
fought during World War I, -

- Britain always benefits
from the defeat of others.

This is my statement: Britain
must be brought to her knees.

Victory over the Yankees
and the Bolsheviks is not enough.

No! Britain must be crushed.

In my long life I've seen the
wickedness emanating from Britain.

Unrest, misery,
violence, oppression, -

- broken promises
and international disputes.

It's time to put an end to that.

Britain must be brought
to her knees.

Sengsen Mountains.

Holien Mountains.

Devil's Hill!

Death Hill.

Berghof is just around the bend.

"I admire you, Herr Hitler."

"I believe in your dream
about a great, new Europe."

Watzmann. Hohe Goll.

Tea is served.

I'm a great admirer of yours,
Herr Hamsun.

I feel we are kindred spirits. My
life resembles yours in many ways.

I've always taken a great
interest in artists, -

- In how you turn
your experiences into art.

Herr Hitler admires you
and is very interested in artists...

I admire you, Herr Hitler. I believe
in your dream of a new Europe.

Herr Hamsun admires you
and believes in your dream.

Tell me, how did you go about
writing "The Growth of the Soil"?

Do you write at dawn
or at night?

The daily rhythm of a poet
and a politician is similar...

Reichskommissar Terboven
has no understanding of us.

He says we can do our shipping
in the Baltic or on our lakes.

Norway, the third largest
seafaring nation in the world!

Well now, who's this?

This is Albert Speer's
little daughter.

What a pretty little doll.

Come back later. Your mother
will be looking for you.

Herr Hamsun said that Terboven
wants us to sail on the lakes.

Unfortunately, war puts
an end to all overseas shipping.

Unfortunately, war puts an end to
all overseas shipping.

But in the future.

Norway is to take an honourable
place in the new Europe. You said so.

But Terboven has said repeatedly
that Norway will cease to exist.

Terboven says there won't be
a Norway in the future.

No Norway. We'll be reduced
to a German province.

We'll be a German province.

Contrary to other countries,
you have your own government.

- Norway has her own government.
- But it carries no weight.

Terboven has the final say.
But what happens after the war?

The Norwegian people
are very monarchist.

One must destroy
the king?s great popularly.

No comments!

His methods are foreign to us.
His Prussian ways are intolerable.

And the executions!
We've had enough.

The Reichskommissar's
methods do not suit us.

Two innocent men will be shot
unless they turn another man in.

Tell me, would a German betray
a friend if his life were threatened?

This terror, this bloodbath!

Terboven has no easy job.

He has many difficult tasks
to carry out.

There is no room for emotions.

- Terboven has many tasks...
- But will he ever be recalled?

Will Norway end up a protectorate?
Will Norway ever be free?

WIII Terboven ever be recalled?

He is a man of war. He deals only
with matters of war in Norway.

After the war he will return to Essen
to his old job as Gauleiter.

After the war
he'll return to Essen.

We aren't against the occupation.
No doubt we need it, -

- but this man will ruin more for us
than you can ever build!

Hush now,
he's given us his word.

Why must we live with
this uncertainty about the future?

And Sweden. We want to remain
on good terms with Sweden.

But Sweden is turning against us.

Forget Sweden.
We're here on behalf of Norway.

Germany didn?t have to install
a Norwegian government.

Germany didn't have to install...

It was merely
a sign of our goodwill.

It's like talking to the wall.
We believe in you, Herr Hitler,

but your will is twisted.

Your procedure in Norway is wrong.
It will only lead to a new war!

Oh, be quiet!
You don't understand anything.

What's going on?

Tell him that we believe in him.

- Mr. Hamsun says we believe in you.
- Get him to calm down.

Send him away. I never want
to see a man like him again.


- This way, Herr Hamsun.
- What? Am I leaving?

Is he throwing me out?

"She was hardly anyone
among men."

"Only one."

"And now it is night."

- What about next winter?
- Then I'll be back.

Do you really think
there'll still be a Germany?

I firmly believe in victory
for Germany and the Fuhrer.

If only some of your belief
could rub off on us.

We're beginning to have doubts.

For your sake, I'll forget I ever
heard you utter those words.


Now, Knut.

At last.

You haven't told me about
new German victories for some time.

How are things?

Hitler is dead.

I'd better write an obituary.

Don't. Germany is going to surrender
in a few days.

It'll all be over soon.

Then I'll be the only one
wanting to write him an obituary.

Heil Hitler.

Heil Hitler.

"Far be it for me
to talk about Adolf Hitler."

"Neither his life nor deeds
invite any form of sentimentalism."

"He was a warrior,
a warrior for mankind."

"He preached the gospel
that all countries had rights."

"He was a reformer
of the first water."

"It was his historic destiny -

to work in a time
of extreme brutality,

which eventually destroyed him."

"That is how Western Europe
should look upon Adolf Hitler."

"And we, his closest supporters, -

- bow our heads over his death.
Knut Hamsun."

They'll be here for me, too, soon.

I'll pack my bags.

Thank you.

You shake the hand of a traitor?

We won't be as barbarian
as they were. So I decided I would.

We'll see.

- Yes... we'll see.
- Father...

Good morning.

I haven't killed anyone,
or stolen anything.

Nor have I set fire to anything.

Do you admit to
having written these articles?

- Did you write these articles?
- Yes, I did.

Then please sign... here.

The tax man says you must have
more money than you've stated.

25,000 in cash, 100 shares
in Gyldendal and Norholm farm.

That's a mighty fine bicycle
you have there, Mr Christensen.

- It's a Crescent.
- I'd have liked one like that.

It's been a long time.

Don't say anything. I know.

I can't get hold of any more liquor.
I'm in a bad state.

Have you got any?

Dear, sweet Cecilia, if you have any,
please give it to me.

It was for father.

Thank you.

I haven't been here fourteen years.

Has it changed much?

How are our loved ones?
I know Arild is in jail.

And Tore has been fined...
Is he in jail, too?

He was at Grini.
He sent me a letter.

He wrote he was digging up
executed Russian POWs. It stank.

- What about the rest?
- Mother got three years.

I went to see her yesterday.
It was awful.

And father's in a rest home.

He wants to be tried
and sentenced.

They'll never allow it.
They want him to wither and die.

They must think it too embarrassing.

He'll die in hell only.
He'll never give in.

What a family.

- What a wonderful family.
- Yes.

I'm going to visit father tomorrow.

It's for father!

Will you come with me?

Tell him from me... He shouldn't
have been an albatross.

He should've come down to us.

Tell the bastard...

No, don't.

Please don't, Cecilia.

Don't say it.

Just say hello to father.

Say hello from Ellinor.

- What have they done to you?
- I'm waiting, you see.

I'm being subjected to a mental
examination. To see if I'm mad.

In a week, I'll be at the asylum.

You must travel and see the world
even if you're old.

Ellinor sends her love.

How is she?

I see.

- What are you doing?
- Writing.

- It's really only words.
- Words?

I haven't written any words
for 15 years.

16, no...
So now I'm starting all over again.

- Father...
- One must write again.

Walk down the old,
overgrown paths.

Well, anyway...
Then I'll be happy.

- So, this is the madhouse.
- The psychiatric clinic.

It looks like Norholm
made of stone.

The doctor's note.
The doctor's note!

But I'm not ill. I'm the healthiest
person ever to enter this hospital.

- It's just that I'm deaf.
- Your glasses.

- But then I can't read.
- Your glasses.

You'll get them back tomorrow.

I've been sitting on that train
for 12 hours.

I want to sleep.
And I haven't had a thing to eat.

I hardly got time
to put on my trousers.

Sit down.

We will begin our talks now.
We'll make a thorough examination.

You are an interesting man.

Poets are extraordinary people.

Please write your name here.

Your name.

I started shaking 30 years ago.

I've written thick books
with this hand.

It will be interesting to explore
the anatomy of a poet's soul.

Will it take long?

Yes, it will take a very long time.

Shall we begin?


Very well, let's begin.

What is eleven times twelve?

Eleven times twelve, Mr Hamsun.

I never was good at arithmetic.

It once cost me 5,000 crowns.

But then,
it earned me 1,000 another time.

And I even worked in a shop
as a young man.

We'll do something simpler.

How much is seven times nine?

Seven times nine.


I know you hear prayers.

If only I could get an answer.

I know you hear prayers...


- Good night.
- If only I could get an answer.

I know you hear prayers.

Answer me.
If only I could get an answer.

"The Lord bless thee and keep thee.
Make his face shine upon thee."

I am innocent.


I met him only once.

But I trusted him.

Maybe I was fooled,
but that can't be helped now.

He shouldn't have
treated the Jews like that.

We benefit from Jewish integration.
We, as well as other people.

He shouldn't have done that.

They ought to shoot me as well.
I'm not afraid of dying.

They might as well.
This is taking up a lot of time.

We've been at it for a month.
It's been torture.

I have to pass three locked doors
to get out into the open air.

And then back again
through the same locked doors.

Time is running out. How will I
ever get to serve my sentence?

Will you tell me about
your relationship to your wife?


- Your wife.
- No!

As for your description of yourself,
have you got anything to add?

I've written about
hundreds of people, Mr Langfeldt.

I have a bit of each in me.

Yes? Of each of them?

We have many faces,
Mr Langfeldt.

Do you repent? You write here
that you disavow Nazism. You...

I'm not trying to excuse myself.
I did what I did.

Yes, you keep on saying that.
Do you feel you've been deceived?

A man doesn't make excuses.
Am I speaking too loud?

The questions about your marriage,
your wife...

You've simply ignored those.

Won't you talk about
your relationship to your wife?

We literally haven't
talked for years.

I wouldn't dream of
discussing her.

I'd scream with fear at the thought
of involving her behind her back.

With fear?

With fear...

It's a unique case.

A great poet gone astray who's
brought disaster on himself.

His spiritual life, his soul,
why he writes as he does.

What is a poet's inner motor?
What is the machinery of art

in times of crisis?

This is a unique opportunity for me
as a scientist and psychiatrist.

The circumstances are unique.
His marriage, his sex life.

Maybe that's the key.

In a hundred years,
literary researchers will thank me.

I've requested a house search.

And I intend to find a witness.
The most important one.

Cherchez la femme.

Mrs Hamsun, come with me.

You don't have to tell me anything.
But I would be grateful.

You know you can help him
by telling me everything.

- Who'll read my testimony?
- No one but the State attorney.

- If my husband finds out...
- You can rest assured.

- Where shall we start?
- I don't know.

Do you remember his first stroke?

Is it in here?

Are you going to
show me a movie?

The last movie I saw
was the one -

- that German woman
showed me in Vienna.

- But I don't suppose it's that one.
- No.

What on earth is this?

It's a so-called re-education camp
for Jews, Mr Hamsun.

The change came much earlier.
1936 or '35.

We had a terrible row...

I realized
he had abandoned his ideals.

Later he...
He didn't want to stay at home.

He rented a room at the inn in Oslo
and stayed away for a whole year.

He had stayed away before, but that
was when he was writing...

...his books.
His masterpieces, as they say.

Oh, he couldn't create them
in the environment...

The masterpieces suffered
in my presence.

And your relationship?

Since it changed...

...there hasn't been
any relationship.

Our confidence was lost.

He started chasing young girls.
He was unfaithful to me.

He was unfaithful to me.
On several occasions, Mr Langfeldt.

And he became so very aggressive
towards me. Said I wanted control.

I tried to take control, he said.

Isn't that ridiculous? Control!

- Was he jealous?
- Only at first. It subsided.

Later on he stopped being jealous.

It was over.



I don't know what happened.

It just stopped.

During the war...
Was he very isolated?

I suppose you could say that.

He refused to listen to the radio.
He was deaf.

And the family only listened to
what was legal. Out of principle.

So he really doesn't understand
what he's done wrong.

They say I made him pro-German.

As if he ever let me influence him.

He had to hear it from others
before he believed anything I said.

His articles were
his words exclusively.

Oh, I got to type them up.

I had, after all, written several
successful children's books.

So he let me type them up.
Which was a great honour.

He let me do that.

There were long periods of time
when he didn't utter a word.

He didn't talk to me.
He was wrapped up in hatred.

And I suppose
I returned that hatred.

It just wasn't fair.

But his mother...
He was very attached to her.

She was blind in one eye.

A quiet, meek woman.

I think he looked for a woman like
that and thought he found her in me.

Already after the first year
he was terribly disappointed.

Never had he been so let down
by a woman. Let down!

I was wrong... Wrong!

But his mother...

He could go on for hours
about her endless sacrifices.

How she sacrificed everything
for her children.

But we had to send
our own children away.

The girls...

He blamed me.

He insisted the girls be sent
away at the age of 14.

He blamed me for that, too.
For everything!

The children...

The children.

- Why didn't you get a divorce?
- That's a good question.

We often talked about it.

I left him, and he came
to fetch me back.

And I went with him.

It was as if he drew a magic circle
around me when I was young.

I couldn't get out.

Every step I took, or didn't take,

was decided by that circle.

Mrs Hamsun, -

- I have to ask you about
your marital relations.

His urges.


Do I really have to answer?

Do I?

Mrs Hamsun,
you know you want to.

Get him to calm down
and bring him back in.

We've arranged for you
to visit your husband -

- to thank you for your co-operation.
He's waiting in the coffee room.

To thank me?

Wife? Do you mean my?
Is she here?

Why did you keep it from me, Marie?
Why didn't you say anything?

You should have said it all!

But I have said it all.
The truth, Knut.

What have you been up to?
Have you talked to him?

Have you bared your bleeding soul
to that little quack?

That bloody weasel?
Have you betrayed me, Marie?

I know. You are the...

...most evil...

...the most treacherous
and vile?

At a loss for words, Knut?

You, the master of words.

The most evil?

I bid you farewell now, Marie.
We won't meet again.

Will he live?

It's up to me to save him.
He won't survive a trial.

History will thank me.

I can write an analysis
which will spare Hamsun a trial.

But not until I know everything.

- Langfeldt is through with him.
- What do you mean ?through"?

He's through with Hamsun.
It took four months.

Thank God you're here.
He won't stop crying.

The professor will hand in
his report next week.

He's trying to deprive me
of my trial.

He's going back to the rest home.

He's going to pronounce me senile -

- so I won't be able
to stand trial.

I wasn't when I came here.
I wasn't...

"1. It is not our opinion
that Knut Hamsun is insane."

"Nor was he insane when he committed
the acts in question."

"2. We believe him to have suffered
permanent mental damage, -

- but do not think there's any risk
he will commit further crimes."

Well, that's reassuring.

They say there isn't any risk,

you'll "commit any further crimes".

Somebody died last night.

But it still wasn't me.

I've written to the State.

I insist on a trial for damages.
But they keep putting it off.

- They're hoping you'll die.
- But I'm not dying.

And no lawyer will take my case.

I've got to read it all myself.

- What's this?
- Mother's testimony.

How was it?

Courage is better than happiness.

Your wife has been granted
leave from prison.

Because your daughter needs help,
it says.

your daughter is ill.

- What are you writing?
- Writing?

A novel?

- Aren't you too old for that?
- Indeed.

It'll be a book
with permanent mental damage.

But I want my trial first!

- Mother!
- Ellinor!

"Dear Tore. God only knows
when I'll get my trial."

"I suppose they're putting it off
in the hope that I'll die first."

"But my lawyer, Mrs Stray, tries
to put an end to their delays -

so we can get an exact date."

"In the meantime, I just wait.

No photographs!

His articles boosted the faith of
the Germans in the Nationalist Party.

Hamsun is to pay damages
for having supported the enemy...

...responsible for his actions
during the war...

...when the German forces
invaded Poland...

...far more important is...

I recommend he be judged harshly.

The greater the man,
the greater the responsibility.

Knut Hamsun, you may speak.

This is my opportunity.

I wish to unravel the list of my sins
properly and... morally correct.

My articles speak for themselves.

I won't try to diminish them.

It's bad enough as it is.

On the contrary, I stand by them.
Now as well as then.

Just like I have always done.

We were led to believe
that Norway would take -

a prominent place -

in the Greater German Empire
which was soon to be a reality.

Everyone believed this,
more or less. Everyone.

I know I did. And that's why
I wrote the things I did.

I'm not saying this to defend myself.
I am not defending myself.

I'm merely explaining my position.

I value our reputation -

as well as our Norwegian
system of justice.

But I value even more my own sense
of good and evil, of right and wrong.

I'm old enough to have
my own guideline,

and this was it.

I felt the best way to serve
my country was to write what I did.

To use my pen for the good
of this new Norway, -

- the most prominent among
the Germanic nations of Europe.

The thought of this
appealed to me.

Indeed, it made me ecstatic.

Norway, an independent
and shining nation -

- up there
on the outskirts of Europe.

I wrote in order to
persuade young Norwegians -

- to refrain from doing stupid things
against the occupation forces.

It wouldn't do them any good.

No, it would cost them their lives.

And I sent telegrams. There must be
an archive of my telegrams.

I sent a lot. Time was running out,
so I sent telegrams night and day.

My fellow countrymen's lives
were at stake.

But this made the Germans
suspicious of me.

They saw me as some sort of
untrustworthy mediator.

Hitler wanted nothing to do with me.
Terboven didn't reply.

Terboven got tired of me.

And no one told me what
I was writing was wrong.

No one in this country.

I sat alone in my room.
I couldn't hear anything. I was deaf.

No one could get through to me.

They hammered on the stovepipe
to tell me dinner was served.

I could hear that.

So I came down and ate.

Then I went back to my room
and sat down.

And I stayed there.

All I had were my two newspapers:
"Aftenposten" and "Fritt Folk".

And none of those papers said I
was wrong. They thought I was right.

But what I did went wrong.
It went wrong.

I was floating in midair
with nothing to hang on to anymore.

I brooded over everything.

I reminded myself that every
great cultural figure we have -

had been through Germany,

and only then achieved
international greatness.

I wasn't wrong in thinking that,
but I was criticized for it.

It didn't lead me anywhere.
On the contrary,

it lead everyone to believe that I...

...was betraying the very Norway
I so wanted to help.

Well, so be it.

It's my loss,
and I have to bear it.

So, there I was...

..."betraying" my country.

I became a ?traitor".

So be it.
But I didn't feel like one, -

and I still don't.
I'm at peace with myself.

I have always kept my country
in my soul, wherever I went.

And that is where I intend
to keep my country, -

while I await...

...my final sentence.

I thank the court.

This is all I wanted to say -

so as not to be dumb
as well as deaf.

I felt I had to mention a few facts.

The rest can wait
until some other time.

Until better times
and another court than this.

Tomorrow is another day,
and I have all the time in the world.

Alive or dead,
it doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter to the world
how one individual fares.

In this case, me.
But I can wait.

The defendant, Knut Hamsun,
born August 4, 1859, -

poet with a wife and children, -

is sentenced to pay
425,000 crowns in damages-

with an annual interest rate at 4%.

Furthermore, he is sentenced to pay
the costs of the trial...

Welcome back.

I've been knitting socks now
for 2 years and 46 days.

They probably think
they have enough socks now.

I've prepared a lovely meal
for us at my place, mother.

So father doesn't want me
to come home?

I knew it.

We have a nice room for you
at home.

I've been longing to ask you...

You promised my testimony
would be confidential, -

- yet it's been sent to lawyers,
newspaper editors. Everyone!

Mrs Hamsun, I couldn't prevent...

You said only the State attorney
would see it.

But it's everywhere now.

Knut has read it, too.
You've ruined my life, and his.

- It was out of my hands.
- He's deprived me of everything.

He's shut me out of Norholm.
And it's all your fault.

Knowing your relationship,
I hardly think it mattered.

You know nothing
about human relationships!

- It happens to be my job.
- You made me a traitor. Bastard!

What are you doing, father?

Oh, I'm just looking at myself.
You wouldn't understand.


Please let mother come home.

"Please let mother come home"?
Is that what you came home to say?

My dear, you don't understand.
I can't let anyone come home.

I've told mother I never ever want
to live under the same roof as her.

Is that clear enough?

I've even offered
to move into the rest home...

It's not fair on mother,
you and Ellinor and the boys-

- that I go on living. But it's not
such a lark for me, either.

And now I'd just like to get
the book out before I die.

"On Overgrown Paths".
Permanent mental damage.

Yet he's managed to write
what is obviously a masterpiece.

But we can't publish it.

Public opinion, you see.
Norway would explode if a traitor...

Well, you know.

We were on different sides during
the war. I sincerely regret it.

- Sincerely.
- Oh, please don't burst into tears.

But Hamsun once brought
Gyldendal Publishers to Norway.

You owe him.

I hope Grini didn't leave its mark
on your body as well.

You don't have to remind me...
I thank you.

Don't thank me. Say you'll publish
a book you think is a masterpiece.

- After his death.
- He wants it out now.

After his death.

Then he'll refuse to die.
He's already arranged it with God.

- He says they agree.
- Try abroad.

Being a confirmed
Norwegian patriot, -

- the ?traitor" would prefer
to have it published here.

They want me
to cut certain parts.

If only I'd cut out the shrink's
name, it would be out tomorrow.

But I won't cut a single word!

I beg your pardon?

How can such a thin little book
pose a threat to anyone?


- Can it really be true?
- Yes, it's true, father.

What do they think?

The opinions differ
from ?a masterpiece" -

- to "an inexcusable deviance from
your permanent mental damage..."

What does Marie think?

I've asked you a question, Lord.

You must answer me.
I've asked you so many times.

I'm asking you
for the last time, Lord:

Should I? Should I?

Should I?

What's wrong, father?

You must see to it
that mother comes home.

Get mother home! Now!

At one in the morning?

You've been gone
for a long time, Marie.

During all that time
I've had no one to talk to -

but God.

"Dear Cecilia."

"Father is very happy that
I'm home. He says so every day."

"But he's difficult.
He takes up most of my time."

"Send me some sleeping pills.
I daren't take any more morphine."

"Nothing has changed here.
We've no electricity,

father sleeps noisily, talking to
God with thunder in his voice."

"I can't get any sleep."

"I serve him junket with an egg
yolk and he loves coffee and cake."

"I've found the missing letters
from 1908-9 when we first met."

"I reread them today
and felt quite sad."

"I keep thinking of a large ship
full of flowers, which has sunk."

Stop it, Knut!

"Father is shouting at me now
that he couldn't live without me."

- "And so the words meet."
- Marie! Marie!

"The letters I read today
say the same."

"The words meet after 40 years."

Please kiss me, Marie.

Let it be, Marie.

I'm dying.

The wanderer has reached
the end of his journey.

It wasn't always easy
to keep up with you, my love.

Sometimes you had to wait for me.

And sometimes
I had to wait for you.

At times we even lost track
of each other on the way.

But somehow
we always found each other again.

Goodbye, my Knut.

And thank you
for keeping me company.

Subtitles edited by leonid55, 2010