FILM ABOUT THE TRADE UNION MOVEMENT: – You don’t mess with that knife-Axel!

Actor Stig Henrik Hoff sings at the top of his lungs while standing inside a mountain rehearsing the role of a rebellious late 1800s mining prospect.

– Æ he wrote the knife Aksel and he didn’t mess with it. He’s nice, laughs Stig Henrik Hoff in true Northern Norwegian.

He and his family grew up in Rognan, Saltdal, Nordland, less than five miles from the mining village of Sulitjelma in Nordland’s Fauske municipality.

– Suli had its own community with its own money and dentist. My grandfather was a dentist here. I have some lamps at home that come from the Sulitjelma mines, says Hoff.

Hoff plays one of the main roles in the film “Sulis”, but is actually far from Sulitjelma in Nordland.

SCENES: This is what the main street of Sulitjelma looked like in the 19th century. Now it has been recreated in Målselv. Photo: Roy-Arne Salater, TV 2

Most of it now takes place at the film camp Nord in the Målselv municipality of Troms, where authentic film sets have been constructed from the mining village as it looked in the 19th century.

– It’s really just tricks and cheating, but it looks damn good in the movie. It’s like being in a cowboy movie and I feel lucky, says Hoff.

A historic labor struggle

Now, the historic workers’ struggle and rebellion between rich mine owners and poor slaves in Sulitjelma is finally being filmed.

This is the beginning of what we know as the Norwegian trade union movement and the Scandinavian model.

– This is the story of how workers got the right to participate in their workplaces and we should be proud of it. It’s important to say where it all started, even though there are big differences in our society now, says director Nils Gaup.

JOY: - Few political films have been made in Norway, says the film

JOY: – Few political films have been made in Norway, says Nils Gaup, the director of “Sulis” Photo: Roy-Arne Salater / TV 2

The film “SULIS” will probably be one of the greatest political films ever made in Norway.

– Yes, this is a political message. One of the characters is Helene Ugland, a well-known socialist agator or preacher who addressed the working conditions of the time. She is this time’s answer to Greta Thunberg, says Gaup.

Swedish shooting star Otto Fahlgren plays the young lead role.

– Why are there so few political films in Norway?

– No, it’s probably rare that someone dares and you’re probably afraid that people won’t come if the film has a clear turn to the right or left side of politics. It is very exciting to do exactly that, says Nils Gaup.

He shows us the set in Målselv.

It’s like stepping back in time 120 years. Nothing is left to chance.

GOOD RECORDING: There are spectacular recordings with historical backgrounds Photo: Roy-Arne Salater / TV 2

GOOD RECORDING: There are spectacular recordings with historical backgrounds Photo: Roy-Arne Salater / TV 2

– Historical films like this are difficult because they are very expensive. All the props are made, rented or sewn, says the star director, known for films such as Veiviseren and Kautokeino Uprising.

– I love it

Simon Berge has got the second leading role. Perhaps best known for his role as “Adam” in Exit.

He plays an arrogant and powerful Swedish mine owner who comes to Sulitjelma from the USA.

He spares no means in pursuit of profit.

– Yes, I have played this type of role before, says Simon Berge and strongly alludes to the role he has in the series Exit.

He is impressed by both nature and history.

CRUSHED: Simon Berge stars as Svens and the arrogant mine owner.  He is used to such a role from the series Exit.  Photo: Roy-Arne Salater / TV 2

CRUSHED: Simon Berge stars as Svens and the arrogant mine owner. He is used to such a role from the series Exit. Photo: Roy-Arne Salater / TV 2

– It’s a classic heroic story after all, and it’s awesome to highlight such a grand and historic event. The scenery here also hits me first, says the actor.

– Mountain, forest and waters. I like it, says Berge.

It took 12 years

The budget of the film “SULIS” is 55 million, and it has taken more than 12 years to get the financing and a good script in place.

Tomas Evjen from Rognan had the idea, but he died long before filming began.

Evjen’s legacy has been continued by producer Tom Vidar Karlsen.

WE HAD TO WAIT: - We wanted both a good script and financing before we could start, says Storyline NOR producer Tom Vidar Karlsen.  Photo: Roy-Arne Salater / TV 2

WE HAD TO WAIT: – We wanted both a good script and financing before we could start, says Storyline NOR producer Tom Vidar Karlsen. Photo: Roy-Arne Salater / TV 2

– We don’t want to start the project until we have the desired product, which is why it has taken a very long time for the script and financing, says Storyline NOR producer Tom Vidar Karlsen.

It is important for him that the story of what happened on Sulitjelma be as authentic as possible.

– This is a film based on the events of Sulitjelma and several characters are real people who have lived in Sul. We are pretty close to the truth in this film, says Karlsen.

– Will it be a very political film?

– It’s kind of an anti-Donald Trump movie. It’s about solidarity and togetherness against a despot or a rather authoritarian and horrible leader, says Karlsen.

The film “SULIS” is the biggest film ever produced by a Northern Norwegian production company and the screenplay was written by Christopher Gröndahl.

In addition, Heidi Ruud Ellingsen plays the role of Svarta Bjørn.

Uses Røros mines

To date, nearly 30 percent of the film has been completed. In addition to Målselv, the recording goes to Røros and Sulitjelma, of course.

The safety of the actors is important and in Sulitjelma it is not safe enough to use today’s historic mining tunnels, so the best alternative is the Røros mines, but some scenes will be shot there as well.

OVERVIEW: A lot of time has been spent to get good, up-to-date photos of what Sulitjelma looked like more than 120 years ago.  Photo: Roy-Arne Salater / TV 2

OVERVIEW: A lot of time has been spent to get good, up-to-date photos of what Sulitjelma looked like more than 120 years ago. Photo: Roy-Arne Salater / TV 2

There are many extras in the film and one of them is Jon Sigurd Trandem from Tromso. He’s been saving his beard since Christmas to be ready for the blockbuster.

– Yes, and the beard will be like this after May 17, I think, says Trandem.

He is a mounted policeman in the film.

– It’s great to participate and it’s the first time I’m an extra. It gives an extra dimension to be a part of such a historical film. I don’t think many people in Norway are that familiar with history, he says.

The working day has just passed and the historical form is firmly in place. There are several days of waiting and receiving.

– It’s going well. It’s a great honor, he says.

Historical costumes come from Riga, Sweden and Jar in Oslo.

BIG STAS: - There is a lot to look forward to, but it is a great honor to be part of the mounted police, says Jon Sigurd Trandem from Tromsø.  Photo: Roy-Arne Salater/ TV 2

BIG STAS: – There is a lot to look forward to, but it is a great honor to be part of the mounted police, says Jon Sigurd Trandem from Tromsø. Photo: Roy-Arne Salater/ TV 2

– There are several thousand period costumes that have also been used in other famous films, says Anna Ågren, costume coordinator for Sulis.

– When does it premiere?

– So far I haven’t dared to think, but I hope it will be the first half of 2023, says director Nils Gaup.

– What type of movie will it be?

– It will be a kind of western movie. It’s very spaghetti western, says Gaup.

Fry well!

Stig Henrik Hoff walks around the set with a big smile.

– We have a great team and Nils Gaup is in a great mood and sparkling, says Hoff.

Actually, he’s having an off day, but he’s enjoying being at film camp.

– So look around you? There is no doubt that the north is fat. Fantastic mountains and sea. Yes, everything is fine here. I think it’s easier to sell in Oslo than a barcode, says Hoff.

– I am very proud to be allowed to participate. I’ve got the dialect down, so it’s pretty good, says “North” Stig Henrik Hoff.

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