First Viking Movie in Old Norse; “Trace”

A short movie from Trondheim has an interesting but quite fascinating background. The movie “Trace” had it’s premiere at “ Kosmorama International Film Festival” in Trondheim in mid-March. What is most interesting about the movie is that, the film is the part of the director Markus Dahlslett’s master’s thesis, Et Spor av Fortiden (“A Trace of the Past”) in the department of Art and Media studies at NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology.) Markus Dahlslett wrote, produced and directed the movie. Making a movie in Old Norse -the language of Vikings- needed a lot of hard work and Dahlslett committed to create an authenticity in the movie that’s why the director started to look for the solutions to make his characters talk in Old Norwegian.

NTNU department, the Department of Language and Literature, Markus Dahlslett met Jan Ragnar Hagland, a professor of Old Norse and Scandinavian languages. Hagland translated the dialogues into Old Norse for him, and Dahlslett made recordings that the actors used to rehearse their lines with Old Norse language.
With the limited fundings, Dahlslett tried to make as best as he can. One of them was to recreating the past Viking life with some digital effects. For example; while creating a Viking village,a landscape image from Lofoten was used and the photographs of cabins, cottages, earthen huts and boats from various folk museums in Europe were inserted into the landscape to create a Viking period village.

The story’s protagonist in the film is Baldur, a Viking explorer who has gathered knowledge from distant countries and empires. He brings his knowledge of seafaring, cartography, medicine, languages and engineering home to Scandinavia to help his people create a better future. Back in his home country he encounters Gorm and his clan, who fear the unknown and want to wipe out the bearers of knowledge. The battle is about survival and hope for a better future. In “Trace” you can see how things go in the struggle between past and present, Baldur and Gorm.