An Acclaimed Norwegian Second World War Film.

We have been told about a film to be shown at Edinburgh University on 13 March.  The film will be preceded by an historical introduction by John Gilmour.  It promises to be a most interesting evening.

Here are the details:

Scandinavian Studies at the University of Edinburgh welcomes you to a private screening of Harald Zwart’s acclaimed Second World War drama, The 12th Man. The event takes place on 13.3.19 at 6pm in G.04 50 George Square. The screening is ticketed but tickets are free.

This will be a public event open to everyone. To secure a seat, please book a ticket via our Eventbrite page:



The film was released to rave reviews, with 5 stars on iTunes and 86% on Rotten Tomatoes. Teo Bugbee of The New York Times had this to say:

“The 12th Man” depicts a Norwegian hero’s resistance to Nazism during World War II, centering on the true story of Jan Baalsrud (Thomas Gullestad), a rebel fighter who evaded capture for over two months during the German occupation of Norway.

The film begins when 11 of Jan’s comrades are taken prisoner by Nazi soldiers. One is killed immediately, while the other 10 endure torture first on their way to death, a fate that surely awaits Jan if he fails to reach neutral Sweden. He starts his flight on foot, limping from the initial skirmish after losing a toe to a stray bullet. As Jan slowly makes his way to the border, he is pursued relentlessly by a high-ranking Nazi officer, Kurt Stage (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), even as frostbite and gangrene force Jan to rely ever more on the protection of friendly Norwegians. In “The 12th Man,” escape is a matter of endurance.

In his direction of Jan’s exodus, Harald Zwart lingers on the Arctic Circle location of this hero’s ordeal. The mountainous borderlands bring the threat of extremities lost to cold, the challenge of crossing streams when the touch of water might chill you for days. Sleds and sleighs become vehicles of guerrilla warfare; reindeer are fashioned into allies; daring escapes are made on skis. The reward of Mr. Zwart’s attention to the unique details of this historical account is that Jan’s path to safety frequently shocks, offering scenes of defiance that are unfamiliar or unexpected. In a familiar genre, “The 12th Man” preserves the element of surprise by understanding its terrain (3 May 2018).

The screening will be preceded by an historical introduction by John Gilmour, joint editor of ‘Hitler’s Scandinavian Legacy’ whose research interests include the Second World War in Scandinavia. He is an Honorary Fellow teaching in Scandinavian Studies.’

NB: Due to the gory nature of some of the scenes, tickets will only be issued for adult admission.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *