Svik (Betrayal) (2009)
Director: Hakon Gunderson.
Starring: Lene Nystrøm (Eva Karlsen), Götz Otto (Major Krüger), Kåre Conradi (Svein Nordanger), Hary Prinz (Captain Francke), Jørgen Langhelle (Moland), Fridtjov Såheim (Tor Lindblom), Jockel Tschiersch (Dr.Walter), Jan Grønli (Lawyer Svendsen), Bert Böhlitz (Lieutenant Reinhard), Julia Schacht (Lise), Ivar Lykke (Bjerknes), Carl Bernhard Beck (Hans), Ingrid Bolsø Berdal (Kristin), Peter Linka (Colonel Clark).
a Norwegian woman works for the Resistance to tGerman occupation of her country and has to deal with corrupt Norwegian businessmen and a corrupt German officer, among other matters
Spoiler Warning: below is a summary of the entire film.
Nuremburg 1948. American prosecutor: "The crimes with which these men were charged were not committed in rage or under the stress of sudden temptation. They were not the slips or lapses of otherwise well-ordered men. One does not build a stupendous war machine in a fit of passion nor an Auschwitz factory in a passing fit of brutality. What these men did was done with the utmost deliberation and would, I venture to surmise, be repeated if the opportunity should occur."
The defendant Herman Schmitz, how do you plead? "Not guilty of anything."
Bel Air, California 1992. An older woman looks through old photos of her and her friends and associates when she was a young girl in Norway. One of of her Norwegian boyfriend presented her with a diamond encrusted swastika necklace. Tears roll down her face. Her grown granddaughter arrives by car to the very nice house in Bel Air. Grandmother asks granddaughter if she ever wondered how she came to the United States? Granddaughter says yes, but grandmother never seemed to want to talk about it. Grandmother pushes her old photographs toward her granddaughter, who picks them up and looks through them.
Flashback. Oslo, summer of 1943. Grandmother was in the Norwegian Resistance and was ordered to get close to Tor Lindblom, the owner of the Club Havana where she sang and the brother of Svenn Lindblom. The club was always filled with Norwegian war profiteers and Nazi officers. Tor was in cahoots with SS-Major Krüger, who was in charge of overseeing all business deals between Norway and Germany. A man comes in and drops off a satchel to Krüger, who in turn drops it off to Tor. Tor was the one who actually oversaw the projects and collected the money payments, usually a 15% percent commission.
A businessman complains that businessmen will not be able to make a profit if they have to pay such a high commission to Lindblom. A man named Moland tells the businessman that London has offered a big reward for Tor Lindblom. Moland then suggests that the businessman eliminate Lindblom himself and collect the reward.
After work Eva goes to see her blonde contact woman Kristin who tells her that Svenn is coming to Oslo from London and Eva has to be there tonight. Eva is a bit upset because Svenn was her first love. She heard that he was shot down over the English Channel. And now that she knows he is alive, she hates her life as it is currently. As she walks down the street, a car stops and two men get out, grab her and throw her into the back seat.
Svenn is being welcomed home. Kristin is there and she gives Svenn a big hug. Svenn asks her when did this Hans fellow join them? He joined a couple of months ago. His brother is at the Grini Camp (a Nazi concentration camp in Bærum, Norway).
Blindfolded, Eva is taken to Gestapo headquarters in the royal castle. She is taken upstairs and pushed into a bedroom. Eva removes her blindfold and sees Krüger in front of her. She is so relieved and she starts laughing about this big "joke" played on her. He throws her on the bed and they start kissing.
The blonde Kristin tells Svenn that Hans is trying to get the blueprints for the construction of the Herøya aluminum factory. Svenn tells Kristin that they will meet elsewhere rather than in this fancy room. He then asks about Eva. Svenn says he has heard that Eva was told to take up with Tor Lindblom.
Eva tells Krüger that she better leave because Tor is going to become suspicious of her. When Krüger steps out of the room for a minute, Eva rifles through his jacket. She makes an impression of some of his keys taken from one of the jacket pockets.
A roughed-up man named Jakobsen is put in the back of a German military truck to be send to Gestapo Headquarters.
Krüger tells Tor that he has good news. Berlin wants 65 new installations built in Fortress Norway. One of the projects is to build a submarine bunker.
Svenn is picked up by Eva in a car. He asks Eva where she was last night and she just says she was "held up". She gives the key impressions to Svenn, who tells her that he has to get his hands on those Herøya factory blueprints because he has to leave Norway tomorrow morning. Eva tells him that this is a suicide mission! Svenn says it will save many lives. Eva stops the car and Svenn tells her that the keys will be ready in two hours and to meet them in the laundry room of 64 Tor's Road. Ask for Kristin. (The Herøya factory produces aluminum that will make airplanes for the Luftwaffe.)
Dr. Walter introduces himself to Tor, saying that he is the replacement for Dr. Berger. Walter will be the new auditor. Meanwhile, Berger has been sent to the Russian front.
Krüger comes to see Tor and he wants to know why wasn't he informed about this change? Tor says they did this in absolute secrecy. Dr. Walter is the new auditor and the man has already gone to see Francke. Tor thinks that it's Hans Beck who leaked the information about the auditing irregularities.
Eva goes over to a huge house and asks for Kristin. The maid tells her to come on in. They walk right past a roomful of Nazi officers and head up the steps where the Resistance people are busy working. The news of the day is that the Germans have been brought to a complete standstill in Russia. Eva can't believe that they would meet here, but Sven explains that the home belongs to Fredrik Rosendahl, a top man in the NS and no German soldier would dare search the house.
Kristin thanks Eva for the key impressions. She hopes the keys will open Krüger's apartment and the archives of the Gestapo. Kristin now asks Eva to search Krüger's apartment and office.
Dr. Walter visits with Krüger, who introduces him to his secretary, Lise. Walter says he wants to learn all about the operations here and, in addition, wants to go see the Herøya factory.
Herøya factory. Dr. Walter asks Tor why is it that only two-thirds of the necessary calcium carbonate to make the cement has been delivered? The doctor gets right to the point. He says that he thinks Tor has put construction money into his own pocket. While Dr. Walter is still at the factory, Tor tells Krüger that this Walter fellow is going to ruin them, but Krüger tells him he will take care of him. He then tells Tor that the Gestapo is after his brother Svenn, but Tor basically says he's not his brother's keeper.
Dr. Walter now reports to Krüger that there are some big discrepancies in his books. They argue back and forth until Krüger tells the doctor that he should take a break by going to Club Havana where the women are beautiful. Krüger himself shows up at the club where he meets with the officers of the German-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce. Herr Schmitz tells him that their organization has decided to name Krüger as the man of the year. Krüger is pleased, but he is not pleased when he hears that the Chamber of Commerce wants to deal directly with Berlin now. Krüger tells the men to be satisfied because they have all made fortunes already. The businessmen don't like the rough way Krüger handled the matter.
Eva finishes her performance and sits down with Tor who gives her a kiss.
Businessman Moland now collaborates with Dr. Walter on Krüger. He tells the doctor that Krüger has become extremely greedy these days. And he treated Mr. Schmitz, the Chairman of I. G. Farben, very rudely. Moland wants Krüger arrested this very day, but the SS officer in the room tells him this matter must proceed gradually.
Dr. Walter warns Eva that he has warned Tor Lindblom that he will be prosecuted for fraud. He goes on to tell her that she is a beautiful and intelligent woman and must think about her own future separate from Tor. Eva says nothing. She just leaves.
The Norwegian traitor Minister-President Vidkun Quisling speaks to all of Norway via the radio. It is an anti-Semitic speech about the need to purge the Jews (most of whom have already left Norway) from their society.
Eva now receives the diamond encrusted swastika necklace from Tor. He then tells Eva that he read her folder at Gestapo headquarters. He puts the necklace around her neck saying that this will let everyone know which side she is on.
Svenn comes into Club Havana while Eva is singing on stage. He goes over to talk with Tor who asks him how much would it be worth to the Allies if he could give Svenn the plans for all the Norwegian coastal defenses? The only thing he wants is for Svenn to get him over the border. Svenn avoids the question. Tor warns him that the Germans are going to strike tonight.
A businessman gives Svenn a lot of cash money and then tells Svenn that if the Allies bomb the Herøya factory, his father's fortune will vanish. Svenn is not going to cooperate with this man. So the businessman asks him to at least tell London that a raid on Herøya factory will end up killing a lot of civilians. The last thing said to Svenn is the cynical remark that the cash is to go to the Resistance.
Svenn gets in a car with Kristin, who wants to know what Tor said. But Svenn is more interested in the job given to him -- to assassinate his brother Tor. They wait for him in the car. All of a sudden, the Gestapo come out. Someone comes out of the building being watched, but it's not Svenn. The man is spotted by two Gestapo men. They try to stop the man, but the fellow just starts running down the street. The Germans shoot the man in the back and he goes down. Svenn tells Kristin to get going immediately. Then the SS officer who had talked with Dr. Walter and Mr. Moland drives up and tells the men to just leave the body in the street.
Eva checks Krüger's office, but has to do it while Lise is typing out an assignment. Lise gets suspicious when she hears some snapping sounds (from Eva's small camera). Luckily, Eva gets the photographed files back into Krüger's desk drawer before Lise gets to her. Eva offers a cigarette to Lise and they both smoke and talk. She does this so she can show off the fancy lighter Krüger had given her. Lise likes Krüger and Eva tells her that she could get plenty of gifts like this from Krüger because Krüger fancies Lise. She finishes with: "Your time will come."
Eva and Lise arrive at Club Havana. Eva goes to change and Lise tells Krüger that Eva did not take anything from his office. And Krüger will be getting on the last plane to Berlin tonight. He will see SS Oberstgruppenfuhrer Muller tomorrow at 11. Krüger tells her he won't forget how helpful she was to him.
Dr. Walter now presents an offer from Berlin to Tor -- six years in prison or a complete report fully laying out all his dealings with Krüger. Tor indicates to Walter that he is not going to write such a report. Dr. Walter says that's a pity and walks away from him.
A German officer sits down with Tor at the Club Havana, while Eva goes through Krüger's apartment desk. The officer says that they believe that his Eva is a British agent. Berlin wants Tor to watch Eva closely.
Krüger comes home to find Eva sitting on the couch reading a fashion magazine. They have sex. (Some brief nudity the morning after.) Eva asks Krüger what did he do to her drink? He says he just spiced up her champagne, so she would sleep, so she should just sleep it off. Tor calls telling Krüger that Dr. Walter is out to crucify both of them. Krüger says that they will just have to eliminate him. He hangs up and leaves his apartment.
Eva comes to the house with the laundry room. The maid sees her and comes outside to bring her in. Eva tells Svenn and Kristin that Krüger knows all about her now. Svenn asks her to meet him in the basement at 11 tonight. Eva agrees. She leaves. Svenn tells Kristin that London wants those documents from Krüger and Tor.
Krüger and Tor wait for Dr. Walter to show up. When he does Krüger goes over to him and shoots him point blank in the chest. Tor goes back to his Club Havana. Eva waits in the dark for him to open the safe. She is going to get those documents from Tor, but will let Tor have any money in the safe. Eva, however, cannot pull the trigger and Tor just takes the pistol from her. She starts walking away, but Tor tells her to go out the back way because Krüger is waiting for her out front. Eva complies.
Kristin and Svenn wait to go in and get the files they need from Tor. Tor puts the documents in a briefcase preparing to walk away, but Moland is there to stop him. When Tor turns his back on Moland, he raises his pistol to shoot, but one of Tor's employees knocks out Moland from behind. Tor comes out and gets in the car with Krüger. At this time, Svenn and Kristin go into action. They kill the German guards nearby, pull Krüger out of the car, knock him down, grab the documents and take off running. Since they didn't kill Krüger, he is able to shoot Kristin in the back. He yells for the guards left to go get that man. Krüger then shoots Kristin two more times, while she lays dying on the road. A big squad of German soldiers joins in the chase.
Eva meets Svenn in the basement. He tells her to cross the border at Kramnes and a Col. Moorgate will meet her there at 8 in the morning. He gives the briefcase to Eva and tells her to run because the Germans are coming. Svenn is captured. Eva hides from some German soldiers and they don't notice her.
The head of the Gestapo learns that Krüger was attacked, but is still alive and on his way here. Svenn is being carried down the hall with Krüger following them. The Gestapo chief tells Krüger that Dr. Walter was killed in an ambush. Krüger says that a big loss for the Reich, but keeps on walking down the hall. The Gestapo chief now tells his aide to have Krüger watched. The aide asks him what will become of Krüger and the chief just says: "Hanging!"
Tor goes down to talk to his brother Svenn. He tells him that he has to give Krüger something or Svenn will be shot. Krüger tells Tor to leave the room. Waiting outside, Tor hears a pistol shot. Krüger comes out and tells the crying Tor that his brother Svenn actually tried to kill Tor. Now Krüger asks where is Kramnes? Tor remains silent.
Eva gets in her car and starts driving out of town. The Gestapo chief is informed that Krüger is on his way to Kramnes on the Swedish border. A soldier then tells Moland where Eva is headed.
Eva just drives through a German checkpoint. Three Germans on a motorcycle pursue her. And now Eva runs out of gas. She takes the documents and runs into the woods nearby. The Germans give chase and shoot at Eva. Krüger with Tor in the car shoots at Eva put she is able to climb on the back of a passing train. There she is recognized by the German soldiers and is asked to perform for the men in the officer's dining car. The officers beg for an encore, but Eva leaves the car. She walks out of the car and climbs up on the coal carrier after having placed a German grenade between the coal carrier and the first railroad passenger car. The grenade explodes separating the engine and coal carrier from the rest of the train.
Now Eva holds a pistol on the train engineer. She tells him not to stop this train until they reach the border with Sweden. Krüger, Tor and a hidden Moland now wait on the tracks for the train to show up. And now the Gestapo chief shows up with his aide and they disarm Krüger. The train slows down for Krüger's car which just sits on the track. Eva looks around, throws her satchel off the train and then jumps off. Desperate, Krüger grabs the gun from the chief's aide, shoots the aide and then shoots the chief, followed by shooting the second man with the chief.
Eva comes walking up with her pistol in her hand. Krüger shoots the pistol out of her hand. Krüger is now going to shoot Eva, but Tor shoots Krüger in the back. He keeps pointing his gun at Eva, but doesn't fire. But now Moland shoots Tor in the back. Eva grabs some of the papers from the satchel and runs off. Moland stoops down to put the rest of the papers back into the satchel. Suddenly he has to run with what papers he gathered together because German soldiers are now coming close to them. Moland reaches his car and takes off. Eva drops her swastika necklace on the railway tracks.
Back to the present. Grandmother says that she met Kyle in London and married him. She had a daughter and then a beautiful granddaughter. She was pregnant when she went to London. Krüger was the father. And she never told her daughter who Krüger was or that he was her father. Then she moved to America. She adds: "The boys got the medals, I got to survive." Both women have tears running down their cheeks. Eva lights a cigarette and goes for a walk.
Flashback. Eva hands off the documents to Col. Mooreland and keeps on walking on the railway track.
"On July 24, 1943, 120 US bombers dropped over 1,200 bombs on Herøya, stopping the planned production of aluminum for Nazi Germany. In 1943, Hermann Schmitz of Norsk Hydro and I. G. Farben, stood trial in Nuremberg for running a death factory at Auschwitz and for using slave labor. He received a light sentence. No Norwegian investor in Norsk Hydro was ever punished for collaborating with Nazi Germany. They were all allowed to keep their shares in the company."
Vidkun Quisling, however, was executed.
Good film about a Norwegian woman and her colleagues in the Norwegian Resistance. Nazi Germany is building an aluminum factory in Norway -- aluminum that can be used to make more planes for the Luftwaffe. The Resistance people all risk their lives to get the blueprints of the aluminum factory buildings. Eva is in the most vulnerable situation of all the Resistance people. She had to work with the four sides: Germans, Norwegians in the Resistance, Norwegians cooperating with the Nazis and the demands of the British for intelligence. To aid her spy work she sleeps with a German officer and his Norwegian partner in crime. And Eva has to deal with Svenn, her first love, who returns to Norway from Britain. Since Eva is cooperating with everyone and betraying every too, it makes for a suspenseful film. I enjoyed watching the film.
Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.
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