Norsk filminstitutt

When German submarines attack their merchant ship at the outbreak of WWII, two Norwegian sailors try to survive, hoping to see  their families ever again 

Alfred Garnes is a working-class sailor, who has recently become the father of a third child. He and his childhood friend Sigbjørn Kvalen (Wally) are working on a merchant ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean when World War II breaks out. They are unarmed civilians on the front lines of a war they never asked to join. The two men struggle for survival in a spiral of violence and death, where at any moment German submarines may attack their valuable vessels. The war sailors have one goal: to survive – and to return home. Meanwhile, Alfred’s wife Cecilia struggles through them war alone in Bergen, raising three children on her own, not knowing whether she will ever see Alfred again. When British aircrafts attempt to bomb the German submarine bunker in Bergen, they instead hit the primary school at Laksevåg and civilian homes at Nøstet, resulting in hundreds of civilian deaths. When the news reaches Alfred and Wally in Canada, they wonder if they have anything left at home to return to. 

Production and distribution

Production Year:
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Co production country:
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Production company:
Mer Film AS
Co production company:
Rohfilm Factory
Studio Hamburg
Falkun Films
Maria Ekerhovd
Sales agent:
Beta Cinema GmbH


  • Gunnar Vikene

    Gunnar Vikene (b. 1966) has made documentaries, short films, music videos and over 100 commercials since 1993, and has won several awards at both Norwegian and international festivals for his work. He directed his first feature film FALLING SKY (HIMMELFALL) in 2002, to both critical acclaim and success at the box-office. He followed his feature debut with the family film TRIGGER in 2006, which was selected for the Berlin International Film Festival in 2007.
    In 2009 he wrote and directed VEGAS. The film was critically acclaimed and has among many international prizes won best film awards at the Sarajevo Film Festival, Tallinn Black Night Film Festival, CPH:PIX and BUFF International Children and Young People’s Film Festival. VEGAS was also nominated for eight Amanda Prizes (Norwegian Oscar)  in 2010 and took home the prize for the best script.

    Gunnar Vikene


Kristoffer Joner
Ine Marie Wilmann
Pål Sverre Hagen


Toronto International Film Festival
Palm Springs International Film Festival
Scandinavian Film Festival Los Angeles
FILMKUNSTFEST Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Love & Anarchy - Helsinki International Film Festival


Gunnar Vikene

Technical information