I had no idea what to expect from Norwegian series and films in terms of LGBTQ+ representation. I’ll be honest: I had never watched a Norwegian series or film before planning to move to Norway. I guess I figured Norway may be a little more progressive, but I wasn’t sure how that would translate into the content.
There’s no way I can cover all of this topic, but I’ll give my first impressions on the content available on Netflix now. This article is the 3rd part in our series, so if you missed the first check here and to refresh your mind about the second, click here.
Det norske hus (House of Norway)
This film is a comedy about a Persian refugee who comes to Norway to seek asylum. You might think there isn’t anything funny about being a refugee but think again. Anyone who has tried living abroad knows that there are many obstacles along the way. Often you just have to fall back on the Spanish saying “reír por no llorar”, which means “laugh to keep from crying”. This movie embraces the absurdity of trying to make it in a new land as we follow the main character at a secluded academy in the Norwegian wilderness where he must pass a series of tests to be allowed to stay.
“Are we meeting someone?”
“The whole point of a hike is to avoid meeting people.”
This film doesn’t have any explicitly LGBTQ+ characters. I added it to the list because there is a pretty long scene about educating the foreigners on Norwegian values. One of the key values is that in Norway you can love whoever you want. Of course, there are a few jokes thrown in, but I thought that it was nice that this is a value they must really promote in Norway, alongside gender equality and democracy (otherwise I think it wouldn’t be in this film).
“In Norway everybody can love who they want and make love to who they want. But only if both of you agree, or all of you.”
-even though I didn’t know much about Norwegian culture, I laughed quite a few times.
-embracing LGBTQ+ people is put alongside values like gender equality, democracy, peace, openness, and tolerance
-the male main character does make a slightly homophobic comment during this scene (“But do I have to kiss a man?”)
-there aren’t any explicitly LGBTQ+ characters (even if one of the trainers does make some suspicious comments about herself)
For my first foray into Norwegian film and series, overall, I think it left a good impression. All of what I reviewed is easily found on Netflix just by looking for Norwegian language content. This obviously limits what I found, but you have to start somewhere!
I would recommend checking out Ragnarok and House of Norway even though the LGBTQ+ representation is minimal.
I hope that as I continue exploring Norwegian films and series, I find more stories that are really centered on LGBTQ+ characters.