Kitchen Stories

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Kitchen Stories
Kitchen stories poster.jpg
The film's cover shows Folke observing from an umpire's chair
Directed byBent Hamer
Written byJörgen Bergmark
Bent Hamer
Produced byJörgen Bergmark
Bent Hamer
Music byHans Mathisen
Release date
  • 17 January 2003 (2003-01-17)
Running time
95 minutes

Kitchen Stories (Norwegian: Salmer fra Kjøkkenet) is a 2003 Norwegian film by Bent Hamer, director of Eggs and O' Horten.


Swedish efficiency researchers come to Norway to study Norwegian men, in an effort to help optimize their use of their kitchens. Folke Nilsson (Tomas Norström) is assigned to study the habits of Isak Bjørvik (Joachim Calmeyer). By the rules of the research institute, Folke has to sit on an umpire's chair in Isak's kitchen and observe him from there, but never talk to him. Isak volunteered for the program with the promise of a horse, but he only receives a dala horse, a little painted wooden statue.

Isak stops using his kitchen and observes Folke through a hole in the ceiling instead. The two lonely men, observer and observed, slowly overcome the initial Norwegian-Swede and subject-observer distrust and become friends. Isak's friend Grant visits him often. Grant is a concentration camp survivor and feels Folke is stealing his friend.

The friendship between Folke and Isak costs Folke his job during an inspection. He is forced to leave and drive up to the Swedish border, but then he returns, only to find Isak has died of a broken heart. Folke, now alone, occupies Isak's home and takes up Isak's friendship with Grant.

Inspiration for the film[edit]

Bent Hamer was amused after perusing post-World War II research books on the efficiency of the Swedish housewife, and pondered on the idea of research being done on men. This led him to make the film Kitchen Stories with Swedish researchers and a Norwegian man as the main character.



External links[edit]