The film In Transit is about the repatriation of Norwegian volunteers with the SS forces during the Second World War. It deals with the factual aftermath of a battle on the Eastern Front, where a potential homecoming of the remains of Norwegian political traitors is the central focus.
The film looks at contemporary issues regarding reconciliation and closure. It touches upon current politics reconciling painful aspects of recent history. The specifics of place and landscape are haunting and compelling.
Set in an area of Karelia on the Russian/Finnish border close to the Arctic Circle, the film is a cinematic investigation revealing history through landscape.
In 1944 approximately one hundred and twenty Norwegian soldiers serving voluntarily in a German SS unit were killed fighting Soviet forces in the area of the Kaprolat and Hasselmann hills in Karelia. Only a handful of the SS-men managed to escape. The rest of the battalion was either imprisoned in Soviet POW camps, or shot dead and left, unidentified, and neither retrieved or formally buried, for over 60 years. In Norway, the Norwegian SS volunteers are still regarded as political traitors. In 2005 locals unearthed human remains under a thin layer of soil. Since then, locals, historians and forensic archaeologists have located more remains aiming to identify
and arrange proper burials for the dead. This work is still on going.
Heidi C Morstang is an artist working with moving image and photography. She has exhibited widely internationally and is a lecturer in photography at Plymouth University, UK, where she is a member of the Land/Water and the Visual Arts Research Group. Galeria Ana VilaSeco, Spain, represents her work.
In Transit (2011) was selected for the following film festivals: Avanca International Film Festival, Portugal; Ostrava Kamera Oko International Cinematographer’s Festival, Czech Republic; Aesthetica International Short Film Festival, York.
NABROAD presents Heidi C Morstang's new work In Transit
at Oslo Screen Festival 11th March 2012
14:40 Filmens Hus/ Cinemateket
Dronningens gate 16, Oslo, Norway
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NABROAD presented Heidi C Morstang’s new work In Transit at Oslo Screen
(Still) In Transit by Heidi C Morstang © 2012
Through the film, the specifics of place and landscape are haunting and compelling aspects of the story and its significance. In Transit is a cinematic response to the events of human intervention in a historical landscape where conflicts of the past have taken place. The film builds upon ambiguity through visual duality in order to ask questions and raise debate whether one should reveal the past, in this case a brutal and undignified past. In transit explores through film the physical, psychological and emotional landscapes that the battle and its legacy occupies. Specific and shocking in itself, the episode raises larger issues, including the effects that such an event has on families and communities: deep, divisive and persistent. The work deals with contemporary issues of difficulties of reconciliation and closure, and with current politics reconciling the many painful aspects of history, such as the potential homecoming of remains of political traitors. It deals with memory and perhaps more importantly, the forgotten and `buried’ chapters in history. It is an aspect of painful heritage.
Running time 19 min 24 sec