Being connected to nature, what does it mean? Father knows and father shows. The director's father is 84. We follow in his footsteps into the mountain home. Into nature's smallest life and out to grand panoramas, where he grew up.
“Our first love was nature. Let’s not forget our first love.”
Songs of Earth is the International Feature submission for Norway. The film takes place in the spectacular mountainous Oldedalen Valley in Nordfjord. It was one of the first villages that was established in the area. Director Margreth Olin’s film is a love letter to her parents: Jorgen and Magnhild. Jorgen is now 84 years old, while Magnhild is nine years younger. Their family has lived in the same place since 1603. Jorgen invites his daughter to join him over the course of four seasons to share his insights and the beauty all around him.
Margreth invites audiences to figuratively walk in her father’s shoes, with her mother at times beside them, in this visually stunning documentary. Jorgen has been exploring Norway’s wilderness all his life. He takes us to spectacular views of glaciers, fjords and waterfalls during his daily walks. He reminds his daughter to not “walk so fast, that you forget to look.” It’s a harmonious blend of melodies that transports viewers to the heart of nature’s beauty. It makes the world seem so large and humans so small. Each frame in the film is a work of art.
At the heart of the film is the relationship between Jorgen and his wife, who have been together for decades. They still sing songs, and dance away during the night. They know that life is precious and that time is limited on this earth. “Life has to end eventually for both of us.” It’s the cycle of life, the passing from one generation to the next. Jorgen knows that the most important thing is being happy together, just sitting down and contemplating life while enjoying the beauty of their surroundings.
This documentary is a heartfelt ode to this world, and a gentle reminder of what we can lose if we aren’t careful. And what can happen if we grow disconnected from it. Songs of Earth speaks volumes on the state of our climate emergency, without ever stating it once in the film. Nature is a fairytale and it must be protected, it should be enjoyed, and it must be respected.
No words can be enough to explain life and love and the environment that surrounds us. But by breathing, listening, observing and feeling we can hear the songs of the earth in an everlasting, vibrant melody in our souls.
(RIP to Magnhild Olin who sadly passed away unexpectedly sometime during September 2023. Thank you for being a part of this film and for showing your beauty on the screen.)