United Kingdom / 2008 / 89'
Far North deals with a human drama set in the glacial ice of the wild and inhospitable Svalbard islands, between Norway and the North Pole. An ice desert of solitude and hostility where nature is enemy to civilization: here, Saiva leads a sincere and peaceful life, but at the same time is isolated and out of time, after she and a new born baby girl survive the massacre of her tribe by a group of soldiers. Saiva brings up Anja and they build up a deep and dependent relationship, totally removed from other human beings. Every day, they both struggle to survive in the vast and dry icy lands. The arrival of a stranger in the two women’s lives brings, as a consequence, progress, civilisation, but above all a disturbing male presence. This presence, within a completely self-sufficient female universe, breaks the unhealthy balance built up over the years by Saiva, thus creating tragic consequences.
Taken by Sara Maitland’s short story, "True North", the third film by the English director of Indian origins, Asif Kapadia, is a silent and dramatic parable of human nature, made even more intense by the harsh Nordic moonscape, that since the beginning seemed to mercilessly assist in this pronounced tragedy.
Asif Kapadia was born in Hackney, London, in 1972. After studying art, design and cinema at the Royal College of Art, Kapadia made her debut with the film The Warrior, awarded at several Film Festivals such as BAFTA and the London Film Festival. Before making this film, her shorts were screened and awarded all over the world. The Sheeep Thief (1997) received a prize in Cannes and the Brest Festival. Kapadia, who also work as a screenwriter, plans to shoot a quartet of films relating to the cardinal points, where The Warrior stands for East and Far North the North. She is still working on the production of the other two films to complete the series. Her filmography includes, apart from those mentioned above: The Return (2006), Wild West (1996), The Waiting Room (1996) and Indian Tales (1994).