Their Frozen Dream (En Frusen Dröm)

Original Title EN FRUSEN DRÖM
Production Year 1997
Drama Documentary
Language Versions Available English and Swedish
Producer Athenafilm
Duration 52 mins
Production Year 1997
Director Jan Troell
Editor Jan Troell
Cinematography Jan Troell
Script Göran Gunér, Jan Troell
English Narration Max von Sydow
Sound M+E tracks available

A fact-based  Drama Documentary  by
 Jan Troell

First Prize at Valladolid International Film Festival, Spain.
Golden Gate Award, San Francisco International Film Festival.

On 11 July 1897 a three-man crew, Andrée, Strindberg and Fraenkel, set out in a giant balloon from Spitzbergen, Northern Norway, trying to reach the North Pole. Nobody had done that before. Andrée had calculated that with favourable winds it might take 43 hours to cover the distance. In fact the wind took the balloon in many different directions until the flight was aborted after 65 hours. At that time they were 190 miles to the north of the nearest land. After crash landing they set off on foot across the ice. They shot polar bears and fried bear-steaks on their Primus stove. On 17th October they sighted land for the first time since 11 July. This was White Island, east of Spitzbergen. The weather was getting increasingly bad. In early October they built a hut on the ice, in which they hoped to survive the winter. On 5th October catastrophe struck again. The ice cracked under their ice-hut and they were forced ashore on to White Island. They were destined to perish in the Arctic winter. They only had a few days to live. For 33 years the fate of the expedition remained a mystery to the world. By chance their remains were discovered in 1930 by the crew of a Norwegian fishing vessel. It became an international news sensation. Not only did they discover private diaries and logbooks but also lots of undeveloped film. Their camera had been equipped with a delayed action shutter so that all three men could appear on the same photograph. Through notes, logbooks, photographs and old and new film footage  THEIR FROZEN DREAM reconstructs day by day their fight for survival. The drama is supported by actors' voices reading from the men's diaries. Just a few days before he died Andrée wrote:

"With such companions one can survive almost any set-back".