Review: Svidd Neger

This movie is not for everyone! It’s the sickest, most twisted and weird movie to ever have been made in Norway.

The main story is about two small families in a remote Northern Norway coastal area and their attempts to get their children married. Ante, the main character, is a confused young black boy (hence the title, which means Burned Negro) who is trying to find his roots in this Norwegian Lapp area. He falls in love with Anna, the girl in the other family, but the problem is that his older brother Peder has also falled in love with Anna, and that a genuine Lapp who doesn’t want to be a Lapp anymore, also falls in love with Anna, and she in him.

Anyway, the story isn’t really the point. This movie is about gags, jokes, bizarre situations, black comedy, self irony, prejudice and halfway inbred redneck people who do sick things because their sick minds aren’t adjusted to normal society. Not only does the movie show us all the extreme prejudices that exist about people living in Northern Norway (they’re uneducated, drinkers, sex maniacs, violent, eat scraps, etc) but it probably shows things that hide in the minds of all people, anywhere. Svidd Neger is a study of the darker inner persona of all of us.

The characters are few but well fleshed out, and everything that happens is character driven. It’s in fact a 100% character driven movie. For example, at one point the drunk father of Anna thinks he sees the ghost of his dead wife and proceeds to try to drown the ghost in the sea, but when he snaps out of it he finds himself holding the head and skin of a cow in his hands, which he gives to Ante’s mother, and says; “you wanted a cow as payment [to marry your son to my daughter] but you never said it had to be a living cow”. The examples are just too many to mention, but one other example is the sexually frustrated Peder, who masturbates but can never get off, and one day he masturbates in bed so hard that he doesn’t see or hear that somebody is torching his house, which explodes, with the result that he (and his mom and Ante) has to take lodging on the other farm, where Anna and her father lives. If Peder hadn’t been so horny, he would never have been forced to meet Anna.

Apart from the dark comedy, there are also horror/splatter elements; cutting off fingers, throat pierced by hook, eyes squelched, etc. Unfortunately the scene where Peder tries to chop off his penis with an axe isn’t completed – maybe they couldn’t afford the special effect? And yes, there is a bit of nudity here too, both male and female, if that counts for you!

Finally, the dialogue and lines: If you don’t understand Norwegian fluently, you will probably miss out on alot of the quirky dialogue and punchlines and verbal jokes that are scattered all over Svidd Neger. This isn’t just physical comedy and disgusting people, but clever jokes that require insight not only into the Norwegian language in general, but also into the clichés of the Northern Norwegian dialect, the one that is famous for all it’s cursing and juicy vocabulary. I’d say 30% of the fun of Svidd Neger is in the dialogue and verbal comedy.

This movie was made independently without government support because it went so far off the allowed path in terms of dark comedy and politically incorrectness. Even the title was up for discussion before the movie was released because it was thought as being racist. It was meant as irony, something you’ll understand if you see the movie. Even the kid who played the black kid defended the title, so why should not politicians and the cultural elite understand it?

This is definitely not a Leslie Nielsen comedy, or for fans of Fawtly Towers and mr Bean. I don’t know any other movie Svidd Neger can be compared to. You can decide to view it as vulgar or cheap, but in its context and for its intention, Svidd Neger is a very unusual movie.

Rated 8 of 10.

Director: Erik Smith Meyer
Norway, 2003

3 thoughts on “Review: Svidd Neger

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