The Way North
Norm Midthun’s grandchildren return to Norway to retrace his steps 71 years after he piloted Crown Prince Olav on his 1945 post-WWII, victory tour of the country. When Minnesota-born, Norwegian American Norm Midthun graduated high school early and wanted to join the war effort, he was too young for the American military. However, after lying about his age, the Royal Norwegian Air Force was happy to have him. He left the midwestern United States for the first time by rail to an airbase in Toronto: Little Norway. This is where he would learn how to fly and how to speak Norwegian before being sent overseas. Norm spent the remainder of the war assisting the Norwegian resistance movement flying a PBY Catalina sea plane. Crown Prince Olav escaped the German occupation of Norway in April, 1940, and went on to lead the war effort in exile. Returning to Norway five years to the day, it was necessary of him to assess the damages of his ravaged homeland. For this, the Crown Prince needed a pilot: the young American, Norm Midthun. This damage assessment tour quickly evolved into a moral boosting, celebratory movement that marks the beginning of a new stage in Norwegian history. From Kirkenes to Oslo, Norm flew the Crown Prince from fjord to fjord down the coast soaking in an array of stories and emotion along the way. In 2016, Norm’s family converges upon their 92-year-old grandfather’s scrapbook that they had never before seen, which details the extent of his tour. They venture into Norway to visit the stops of the Crown Prince Tour, interview locals, and recreate the photos from the scrapbook. Through this quest, they discover their family history and their own way north. The Way North is directed by first-time filmmaker Lars Midthun and is coproduced along side his brother, Jens Midthun. The film’s score is composed by sister and singer/songwriter, Sonja Midthun. They all made the journey together with their youngest brother, Tor and their parents, Mary and Steve.