LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — In “Maelstrom,” the Norway showcase high seas Norwegian adventure, guests brave scenic Norwegian waterways peopled by Viking explorers and mythic trolls. Concluding the attraction is a dramatic film presentation that pays tribute to this beautiful Scandinavian country’s unique people and culture.
“Norway-The Film” was written, produced and directed by Paul Gerber, a filmmaker with two Epcot films — “Symbiosis” (formerly at The Land) and “The Seas” (formerly at The Seas with Nemo& Friends) — to his credit. The clarity and grandeur of the large-scale images in “Norway-The Film” are due to the fact that the film was shot in 70mm, with the same Panavision camera used for “Lawrence of Arabia.”
The film plays itself out dramatically as Norway’s history and spirit are revealed to a four-year-old boy when he is confronted with an icon from his Viking heritage.
Among the featured images in “Norway-The Film” are Sognefjord, the largest of Norway’s many such natural wonders; Oseberg bat, the 1000-year-old Viking ship unearthed in Oseberg, Norway, now on display in Oslo’s Viking Museum; a Norwegian rowing club, whose members enacted the moments of Vikings setting off to sea from Norway’s west coast; a fiery nighttime view of Statoil’s majestic Statfjord B oil rig, silhouetted against 45-foot-tall waves in Norway’s tumultuous North Sea offshore oil field; Skudeneshavn, a small fishing village on the southwest coast of Norway; and the Holmenkollen ski resort, where a 19-year-old skier’s soaring jump from one of the highest jumps in Northern Europe will leave guests breathless at the daunting spirit of these strong and adventurous people.
Also recorded is Norway’s national holiday celebration of May 17, when Norwegians flood the streets of their towns and cities to pay tribute to their constitution. “Norway-The Film” captures this moment, where, as it has been done for centuries, a colorful parade marches up Karl Johansgate, Oslo’s main thoroughfare.
The film culminates in a montage of scenes capturing the spirit of the people of Norway at work and at play. Scenes include a young couple sailing off Norway’s beautiful west coast near the town of Alesund, a lineman hanging precariously on a high-tension wire over Sognefjord and, pictured within a soaring 18th century studio, young Oslo ballerinas in training.