Streaming On: Netflix


‘Occupied’ (Okkupert) – Stoking the Geopolitical Blaze

Looking into a near-future labyrinth of politics and international relations, 2015 Norwegian thriller series Occupied serves up a silver platter of crisis as countries hash out their already complicated relationships over the complete stop of fossil fuel production and importation (the show claims this is because of its effect on climate change) within Norway.

In place of oil and gas, Norway has Thorium, a plant that produces energy from mineral called thorite, from which the Norwegians have created the chemical element, a new energy source. The Petroleum Age has come to an end, but so has the economic boom that comes with the fossil fuel industry. To top it off, Prime Minister Jesper Berg is kidnapped and offered an ultimatum from which he must save his beloved country.

Kicking off the first episode at a whiplash speed, and after which it takes on the feel of a mental-maze spy movie as persecutors are identified as representatives of Russia and the EU tries to restart the oil industry, or so they say – we all know there are vested interests in these kinds of games. The plot then carries on around negotiation and war avoidance, but focuses on the lives and families of the democratic and altruistic PM, a strong-and-silent-type bodyguard of the PM (Hans Martin Djupvik), and a determined journalist (Thomas Eriksen).

The setting of this show is in the beautiful Norway, and the country’s frosty mountains and steel-colored lakes set the stage with tension. Nature’s members are portrayed so still and taught that even the slightest crack of sound would seem to bring great imbalance to the world. So too is the political and economical atmosphere of Norway after they introduced Thorium during a recession; it only took one more push from the already perilous balance to send them into a frenetic spin of resolution efforts against EU pressures, Russian occupation, and terrorism, and they must find the answer to save Norway without sacrificing her citizens.

The first season of the series is available on Netflix and features Henrik Mestad, Eldar Skar, and Ragnhild Gudbrandsen.

Why It’s Worth the Binge: Reminiscent of a spy-movie; cerebral plot; tangled political motives and their consequences; great and convincing acting

– Kelly Gatewood
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