Archive of films O'Horten / O'Horten

Norway / Germany / France / Denmark
2007, 90 min

Section: Open Eyes
Year: 2008

One of the most interesting films shown in the Un certain regard section of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, which encompasses everything that audiences and critics admire Bent Hamer’s for: mild humour, an original screenplay and particularly an unforgettable atmosphere. Odd Horten has worked his whole life as an engine-driver. The time has come to start retirement, and tomorrow Horten will be setting off on his regular Oslo-Bergen route for the last time.  But for the first time in forty years on the tracks, he is late for work… A charming film that is not just for train aficionados.


The life of 67-year-old Odd Horten is inseparately tied to trains. For forty long years he has been the engineer on the Oslo–Bergen route, and now the time for retirement has come. The moment the train starts off without him and Horten is left alone on the platform, he suddenly realises that before him lies a new life free of timetables and intimately familiar stations, a life full of obstacles and pitfalls. Even the platform doesn’t look as safe as before. A new period of Horten’s life is beginning that will have plenty of surprises in store and will confront him with a number of questions. Will Horten ever fly in a plane? Will he sell his beloved boat? Will he survive a frantic night trip? Will he find his long-lost love, or buy a dog? The situations the protagonist of this wonderfully written and exquisitely performed comedy finds himself in become more and more absurd until the time comes when you are not surprised to suddenly find Horten in red high heels. With its unforgettable atmosphere and wit, the film, which is not just one for train aficionados, entirely won over audiences at this year’s Cannes IFF, where it ranked confidently among the most remarkable films in the section Un Certain Regard.

About the director

Bent Hamer (b. 1956, Sandefjord, Norway) studied literature and film science at the University of Stockholm and took courses at the Stockholm Film School. Since his graduation in 1989 he has filmed a number of documentaries and shorts. His first feature-length film, Eggs (1995), also presented at the Karlovy Vary IFF, received a series of festival awards. Hamer also won international acclaim with his comedy Kitchen Stories (Salmer fra kjøkkenet, 2003), which was also screened in Czech cinemas, and the film Faktotum (2005), based on the book by Charles Bukowski and starring Matt Dillon. Both of these films were shown at the KVIFF. Hamer is the owner of the production company BulBul Film, where all of his films were made. In 2006 he was a member of the Grand Jury of the 41st Karlovy Vary IFF.


The Match Factory
Domstrasse 60, 50668, Cologne
Tel: +49 221 539 709-0
E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]

BulBul Film AS
Hoyasveien 24, N-3216, Sandefjord
Tel: +47 33 464 895
Fax: +47 33 464 895
E-mail: [email protected]

Pandora Film GmbH & Co. Verleih KG
Lamprechtstr. 11a, 63739, Aschaffenburg
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Open Eyes
Director: Bent Hamer
Screenplay: Bent Hamer
Dir. of Photography: John Christian Rosenlund
Music: Kaada
Editor: Pål Gengenbach
Producer: Bent Hamer
Production: BulBul Film AS
Cast: Bård Owe, Espen Skjønberg, Ghita Nørby, Bjørn Floberg, Henny Moan, Bjarte Hjelmeland, Kai Remlov
Contact: The Match Factory, BulBul Film AS, Pandora Film GmbH & Co. Verleih KG


Stine Oppegaard

Film Institution Rep.

Philipp Hoffmann

Sales Agent

Nicole Ringhut

Sales Agent


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