Why we decided to bring our film to Norway

Hello!
I just got back from a sound and screen test for the Norwegian premiere of “Over the Bridge” next Saturday (July 16th at 3:30 PM)

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The movie theatre here in town just got a brand new sound system and oh boy it was crisp! The whole documentary has even been converted to “real film” for this screening. Not digital, but FILM! You know, the rolls of tape they use in the real film world? I just love the look of actual film on an actual screen, ahh. Those perfect little grains that make it all look so much more like a cinematic Hollywood production. Well, only if you look past the shaky, handheld, out-of focus shots that were caused by cheap equipment, wind and temperatures below -35°c. But you get my point.

If you find yourself in Haugesund next Saturday, please consider coming. It’s free!

The reason why Sarah and I decided to screen it in Norway as well, was because the whole idea behind the film was planted here. When I went back home for Christmas break last year I walked in the streets of Haugesund one morning, and couldn’t help but to notice the many homeless people on the street corners.

I need to point out that homelessness in Norway is not quite the same as homelessness in the US, because the government here offers housing and financial aid to the people who can’t support themselves. However, the problem with drug and alcohol addiction is very visible.

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17-year-old Jojo is one of the many homeless people in Sioux Falls.

Then I realized I’d never seen any homeless people in Sioux Falls. None! For a second I thought America had found the golden solution, but I knew that wasn’t the truth. I asked Sarah to join me in “the search of the homeless” and we quickly understood why we’d never seen any of them — all the shelters have been moved over the bridge that runs across the Sioux River. That way it’s not a daily reminder to the people in the city. Hence the title “Over the Bridge.”

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What we discovered at the other side blew me away. I never expected the issue to be of such size and magnitude — and that’s why I want to share this film here in Norway. Not because of the film itself, but because I think the message is important.

America is amazing, but there’s one area where Norway is better — at dealing with health-related social issues. Many Norwegians, myself included, looks at the US with great admiration, and we seem to think that everyone “over there” lives the American dream at all times. Through this documentary I wanted to shed a light on an issue that doesn’t get the attention it needs, and I hope those of you who watches it will appreciate that.

Have a blessed evening,
Maria

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