Gavagai is an extraordinary and memorable film; its strong and clear emotional refinement arises from a rare force of imagination, a rare power of observation, a rare cinematic sense to fuse them, and a rare skill to realize them together."
– Richard Brody, The New Yorker
German businessman Carsten Neuer travels to Norway to finish the impossible translation of some Norwegian poems by Tarjei Vesaas into Chinese, a project of his late wife. He hires Niko, a down-on-his-luck tour guide, to drive him to the poet’s home and places of inspiration to stimulate his own translation. On the road, the ghost of Carsten’s wife appears to him, while Niko struggles with the sudden consequences of his girlfriend’s pregnancy. On this journey, two very different men come to realize the transforming power of love, the limits of language, and the human need for friendship.
Tarjei Vesaas is generally considered to be one of Norway's greatest writers and perhaps its most important since WWII. Lichtbogen obtained the rights to use Vesaas’ work in the film from his estate and from his publishers, Gyldendal Norsk Forlag AG.
Shot entirely in Telemark, Norway on 35mm, the film stars Andreas Lust (from the Golden Bear-nominated film Der Räuber, The King's Choice, and the Oscar-nominated film Revanche), Anni-Kristiina Juuso (from The Cuckoo and The Kautokeino Rebellion), and Mikkel Gaup (from Tregenza’s Inside/Out and the Oscar-nominated films Pathfinder and Breaking The Waves).
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