Country: Norway / Iceland
Movie Review: In “Dawn” (aka "Morgenrode"), Norwegian director Anders Elsrud Hultgreen creates a deserted post apocalyptic world, depicted in black and white, where two wandering survivors wrapped in tatters, Rahab and Set, are trying to beat the fatigue and thirst. Their encounter wasn’t casual, since the former, after asking for the Creator’s guidance, is followed by the latter, a tricky man who pointed the direction of the coveted water and didn’t show any scruples when stole Rahab's precious belongings. In sparse words, Rahab had explained his cruel dream from ten winters ago, where something impossible to describe appeared to him. These enigmatic presences that we cannot see but implicitly hover in the foggy mountains, are an important key in a world where the incomprehensible reigns. During the first half I was bored by the repetitive cadency, completely unable to get into the story. The film works much better in the second half, where its scenes are not constantly interrupted by black screens, and deliver the exact radiance to become minimally appealing. At this point, the minimalism of its final images can be hypnotic in several occasions, proving that mono-tones are not synonym of monotony. A few audacious oblique camera moves enhances the sense of experimentalism in the approach used by Hultgreen, a filmmaker who showed potentiality in visuals but could have done much more in terms of narrative. Instead of striking, “Dawn” lacks clarity in every sense, (un)consciously blurring our perception with a too-long reiterative prelude.