Margreth Olin’s latest documentary is serene, sweet and observational, but nevertheless an opinion piece on both the age group and the institution it portrays.
Film director Margreth Olin frequently refers to US documentary maker Frederick Wiseman as one of her most important sources of inspiration. Wiseman is a central name within the historical ‘direct cinema’-tradition, which steers clear of talking heads and omniscient narration to the advantage of a strictly observing, ‘fly-on-the-wall’-like approach. However, this style is rarely used consequently in Olin’s own films. Instead, she often opts for a combination of observational scenes coupled with a rather strong presence of the film maker herself – particularly through voice-over narration, but sometimes also in front of camera.
Here, it is possible to trace a certain kinship with the Swede Stefan Jarl and the Dane Lars von Trier, two other filmmakers she is said to admire. Simultaneously, it may seem as if the fiery passionate Olin occasionally feels forced to participate in her own films. Like when she was a court witness for some of the refugee minors she followed in Nowhere home (De andre, 2012), or when her own partner became seriously ill during her work on the Joralf Gjerstad portrait in last year’s audience hit Doing Good (Mannen fra Snåsa).