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PRODUCTION Norway / Spain

Finse stands in for Greenland in Coixet’s Nobody Wants the Night

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- Known as the ice planet Hoth in Star Wars, the Western Norwegian village is hosting the production starring Juliette Binoche, Rinko Kikuchi and Gabriel Byrne

Finse stands in for Greenland in Coixet’s Nobody Wants the Night
Isabel Coixet

While her American romantic drama Learning to Drive, starring Ben Kingsley, Patricia Clarkson and Jake Weber, is in post-production – for a 15 October release – Spanish director Isabel Coixet has arrived in Finse in Western Norway with the cast and crew for her next film, Nobody Wants the Night.

Not that it is easy to get there: since there are no roads to the village, which is at an altitude of 1,222 m, trains are the only means of transportation, except in the summer, when visitors can walk or cycle. US producer-director George Lucas used it to portray the ice planet Hoth in Irvin Kershner’s Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

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This time, Finse is standing in for early-1900s Greenland in Spanish writer Miguel Barros’ story of two women from two different worlds struggling to survive in an inhospitable climate. They are both in love with the same man, US explorer Robert Edwin Peary Sr, who in 1909 missed the geographic North Pole by five miles.

French actress Juliette Binoche stars as Josephine, waiting for the adventurer who prefers glory and ice to the comforts of an upper-class home – so does Allaka, an Inuit woman (portrayed by Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi) who is expecting a child by Peary, played by Irish actor Gabriel Byrne.

Also shooting in Spain, France and Bulgaria, the Andrés Santana production with Antonia Nava (among others) for Spain’s Aiete-Ariane Films, together with France’s Canal Plus, “is one of the largest and most interesting productions we have hosted for years”, according to the head of the Western Norway Film Commission, Sigmund Elias Holm.

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