Valhalla Rising

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German title Valhalla Rising
Original title Valhalla Rising
Country of production Denmark , United Kingdom
original language English
Publishing year 2009
length 89 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director Nicolas Winding Refn
script Nicolas Winding Refn,
Roy Jacobsen
production Johnny Andersen ,
Henrik Danstrup ,
Bo Ehrhardt
music Peter Kyed ,
Peter Peter
camera Morten Søborg
cut Mat Newman

Walhalla Rising (Original title: Valhalla Rising ) is a Danish-British Viking film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn with Mads Mikkelsen in the lead role. Produced in Scotland , the work is a mixture of adventure and art film and premiered at the 2009 Venice Film Festival . The film was shown in cinemas in Denmark, Great Britain and several other countries from spring 2010, in Germany it was presented for the first time at the Munich Film Festival in early July and was finally released on DVD on November 5, 2010.


The plot is divided into six chapters.

Chapter I: Wrath (Wrath) : Northern Scotland in the 11th century: The mysterious one-eyed and permanently silent warrior One Eye , who also has the ability to recognize his future through visions, becomes a slave in a remote region of pagan Vikings held captive and forced to fight to the death in a kind of gladiatorial match against other prisoners, with one eye winning all fights. He is locked in a cage between fights. A boy, Are , is regularly in his vicinity, who also provides him with food and water. One day while bathing in a pond, Einauge discovers an arrowhead with which he manages to free himself and cruelly kill his tormentors.

Chapter II: The Silent Warrior : After he has freed himself, Einauge leaves the region. He notices that the boy Are is following him at a distance. After a while, the two of them reach the camp of Christian warriors who are burning the corpses of slain heathen. The Christian leader declares that his group is preparing for a crusade to Jerusalem and offers One-Eye and Are to join his warriors, which they do.

Chapter III: Men of God : The crusaders travel by boat towards the Holy Land . However, you will soon find yourself in a fog and lose your bearings. The crew loses their nerve over time and suspects a curse that should lie on the boy Are. When a man tries to murder him, one-eye kills him. Shortly afterwards, Einauge tries the sea water and discovers that the ship has crossed fresh water and thus reached a coast.

Chapter IV: The Holy Land : After landing, it turns out that the men did not land in Palestine: the land consists of dense forests; While exploring the area, the group discovers an Indian burial site. A man disappears. The remaining crusaders return to the ship, where shortly afterwards one of them is shot from an ambush as they continue their journey.

Chapter V: Hell (Hell) : Despair spreads among the survivors despite taking a courageous brew; in an intoxicated state, plagued by hallucinations, the group begins to break up. Some of the men pray for salvation, while another rapes another. One-eye builds a stone balance on a small river island . The warrior who disappeared after landing reappears, his naked body dyed red and covered with symbols. Apparently in a trance , he declares that he can hear Einauges thoughts and that they are in hell. Some of the men panic attacked Eineye and are killed by it.

Chapter VI: The Sacrifice : Einauge and Are march on, followed by the few remaining survivors. The leader of the crusaders, who had recently stabbed his friend, stays behind and is shot by the locals. One eye reaches the coast again with Are, but is surrounded by the Indians. He sacrifices himself to save the boy.

Movie scene


“Does splatter go with art cinema? The director Nicolas Winding Refn explores old genre boundaries with his fighter epic 'Walhalla Rising'. "

- Daniel Sander, Spiegel Online

“The fact that Refn stages his concept as a brutal Viking fairy does not make the film more accessible. 'Valhalla Rising' is not an entertaining historical sword dance, but elegiac art house cinema to the rhythm of Andrei Tarkovski (' Stalker ') and ornamented with motifs from Werner Herzog's ' Aguirre, the wrath of God '. It's mesmerizing - and challenging. "

- Jan Hamm, film starts

“Long landscape shots, silent characters and calm music. Then it gets really brutal for a brief moment. [...] Then you speak one or two quiet sentences together, and then it starts all over again. [...] Anyone who gets involved in Valhalla Rising needs above all patience, strong nerves and a weakness for really peculiar films. Too artificial to look really authentic and too stubborn to entertain the audience really well. A film that should divide the audience. Philosophical and highly artistic for some, exhausting and annoying for others. "

- Mark Zaschka,, Munich Film Festival 2010

“The undeniable madness on which this film is based certainly has something to do with the fact that Walhalla Rising is a film that is underreflected in some respects, a film that sometimes gets a little out of register and slips into Tarkovsky's whisper without this whisper to be able to bring it into an appropriate form. But first and foremost, Walhalla Rising is an impressive, daring trip into the unknown that European cinema takes far too seldom "

- Lukas Foerster,

“Valhalla Rising is a swan song. To man, his gods and all his values. And thus also on any finding of meaning. The journey that people make in Valhalla Rising serves at best to lose meaning. If not the knowledge that there was never such a thing as meaning. Only man and his search. "

- Eleonóra Szemerey, editor

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ Approval certificate for Walhalla Rising . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , June 2010 (PDF; test number: 123 386 V).
  2. Spiegel Online: To Hell, Warrior! - DVD premiere "Walhalla Rising"
  3. Critique of film releases
  4. ^ Munich Film Festival 2010 - Reviews
  5. Walhalla Rising
  6. Cut: The blank space as the main character