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Brev til kongen 2014
Description: In Letter to the Lord we meet a group of refugees, all with their own agendas, on an excursion to Oslo. A young boy about to be deported visits his former employers to accumulate his off-the-books salary, a martial arts expert is looking for work, a young girl is haunted by the past and out for vengeance and an old boy called Mirza is busy writing a letter to the lord to receive his final want granted. An altogether urgent and nuanced portrait of a motley group of individuals, too often regarded as a homogeneous group.
Released: 17 Jan 2014 Director: Hisham Zaman Writers: Mehmet Aktas, Hisham Zaman Actors: Ali Bag Salimi, Zheer Durhan, Nazmi Kirik, Hassan Dimirci Genres: Drama
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See TIFF 2014 - Filmprat: Hisham Z on youtube.

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See Degos- rapvalg vinner 2013 Bre on youtube.

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Brev til kongen Reviews:

Saw this one at the Noordelijk movie festival 2014 in Leeuwarden (NL). The stories are very loosely tied together by means of a one-day bus ride to Oslo, all passengers coming from a refugee camp where rarely something happens, and the town trip is a welcome change. After comeback we follow five participants on their respective adventures through the city.The frame story, as well as the title, comes from elderly Mirza who prepared a letter to the king. He is planning to deliver that letter in an attempt to receive a passport, so that he can return home to bury family members. We see Mirza on his method to the palace, while a voice-over reads part of the letter from time to time. This serves very well to deliever the important context of what these folks binds together, and indirectly gives an overview of what separates them from the folks in Norway.Mirza's purpose may be clear from the outset, contrary to the others we follow that day. Every of them has a hidden agenda, as we shall see when every of the stories progresses. What they are up to seems benign initially, but soon on it escalates to something less benign or even involving violence. Every finds his or her own method through the city, meets old acquaintances and another referred to, eventually making up a colourful portrait of these immigrants.From the same movie maker I had seen Before The Snowfall a several days before. I should not resist some comparison. Both are carried by a frame storyline that serves to bind a series of short stories running in parallel. The binding element for Before The Snowfall may seem more artificial, merely thrown in to sight-see us along a series of unconnected folks and towns (as shamelessly confessed by the director). Nevertheless, in that situation it worked very well for me. Alas, it failed for me in Letter To The King, where the parallel storyline lines are only connected via the initial bus ride and the common origin of the passengers. But the stories scatter around when progressing through the running time of the movie. The respective passengers present neither a common purpose nor any similarity in behavior.All in all, I can imagine that some folks search it a refreshing approach to allow these folks speak and act, if only to create us aware of their background and history, fundamentally various from ours. The frame storyline is artificial, and I dearly missed a common binding element in the respective storyline lines. Maybe I was expecting too much after having seen Before The Snowfall of the same movie maker some days earlier, where the frame storyline worked very well in comparison with Letter To The King. Anyway, the festival visitors disagree with my conclusion. This film ranked 16th (out of 64) with an above average score of 8.3.


After having been noticed as a capable short movie maker, and having immense success with his short movie "Bawke" Kurdish/Norwegian Hisham Zaman has went on to create the critically acclaimed "Winterland" (Vinterland) and then the detail "Before snowfall" (Før snøen faller). The latter won the prestigious Dragon Award in Stockholm International Movie Festival, with the price cash of 1 million Swedish Crowns, as so did this fresh movie "Letter to the King" the year later.It's no wonder that Zaman wins prices for his films, as he manages to receive to the core of the persons featured. He is, no wonder, very occupied with the challenges his fellow countrymen from Kurdistan goes through when being refugees in foreign countries. This movie is about a one day trip to Norwegian capitol Oslo, a bus full of refugees experience after having spent some time in their camp site. We follow fire of them, with the main storyline springing out of 83 year old patron Mirza, which feel he has to receive back home to bury his dead sons, and writes a letter to the Norwegain king, with a tiny support from a young nephew which has learned enough Norwewgian to translate. He, of course, doesn't know that the Norwegian lord is merely a patron himself, with no true power to do something for the old man.We also follow four others, which all have their hope and dreams of getting something more out of their several hours in Oslo. More or less desperate, most of them fail on their missions. However, the stories say a sad reality of how it is to be a refugee in a foreign country, and not really either satisfied or with a clear future. Desperate cases calls for desperate solutions. It's a hard world. The movie manages to set a trace in your soul after the mere 75 mins of storytelling, with both drama, excitement, despair and a tiny bit of humor is well. Well done, and very interesting.In just a several years after movie school Zaman has managed to become one of Norways most critically acclaimed movie makers. His take on the refugee case is bound to create a difference in some method or another.



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