There is something attractive about survival stories, about men and women finding themselves struggling to survive against whatever man and nature throws at them. Nature more often than man, because nature can be an even more merciless enemy—and yet can contain within it the means to overcome its ruthlessness. Scorching heat and bone-dry deserts; cold so severe it freezes flesh; wind and driving rain and wild animals… no wonder films like The Revenant, Sanctum, Grey, Ice Cold in Alex, and even Gravity and The Martian end up being popular. Perhaps a lot of us like the vicarious pleasure of seeing someone else battle overwhelming odds—and come out on top.
Outside of Hollywood, too, there have been survival adventure films, and one of my favourites is this, a Norwegian film, the name of which translates as Nine Lives. The story of a Norwegian Resistance fighter during World War II, the only survivor of a group of men on a mission that ends disastrously. Directed by Arne Skouen, Ni Liv got an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film, and in 1991, was voted (by Norwegian TV audiences) the best Norwegian film ever made.