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A tense conspiracy thriller from the director of Insomnia. Can Petter turn whistleblower and preserve his slice of Norwegian Oil Bubble riches?

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  • Director Erik Skjoldbjærg
  • Producer Christian Fredrik Martin
  • Screenwriters Hans Gunnarsson, Nikolaj Frobenius, Erik Skjoldbjærg
  • With Aksel Hennie, Wes Bentley, Stephanie Sigman, Stephen Lang
  • Norway 2013
  • 100 mins
  • UK distribution Arrow Films

Erik Skjoldbjærg made an impressive contribution to the thriller genre with his mesmerising feature debut Insomnia (1997). With Pioneer he delivers another smart, suspense-filled tour de force, this time set in the eerie (and beautifully shot) underwater world of the Norwegian Sea where, in the early 1980s, rich deposits of gas and oil have been located deep below the ocean floor. With both commercial interests and national pride at stake, Norwegian and American companies collaborate on developing new methods to extract natural resources at hitherto uncharted depths. Resolutely professional deep-sea diver Petter (a knockout performance from Aksel Hennie) is part of an elite team, but following a test-dive accident he’s treated in a disturbingly underhand fashion, leading him to wonder whether there is more to his ‘accident’ than meets the eye.

Sarah Lutton

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