“War Sailor,” a Norwegian war drama, depicts the life of Alfred Garnes, a working-class sailor who secured a position sailing with the merchant navy solely for the Allied side under the British during the onset of World War Two. We had witnessed the anguish he had endured throughout his years at sea. The people he met and the deaths he observed had a significant impact on his life. Some circumstances even brought out the worst in him, which tormented him for a long time. However, through it all, we see him with a lifelong friend, Sigbjorn, by his side. Sigbjorn had gone through the same situation as Alfred, and the circumstances had affected him as well, but with no family to care about, he was much more carefree than Alfred was. But he was committed to a promise that he had made to Cecilia. Before leaving with the merchant navy, we witness him telling Cecilia that he would bring Alfred home safely; thus, to keep his word, he did everything he could to protect his comrade.
Why Didn’t Sigbjorn Travel Back To Bergen With Alfred?
The situation, however, became more challenging when, near the conclusion of the war, the Brits began attacking the ports of Norway in an effort to destroy the German submarines. They rained bombs on Bergen at the time, and the neighborhood where Cecilia and her children lived was destroyed. The telegram carrying news of their tragic deaths reached Alfred, who couldn’t bear the pain and disappeared, telling Sigbjorn not to seek him. Sigbjorn, who had just recovered from his injuries from a torpedo explosion at the time, was struck by the news that his companion had gone missing. He called the British Embassy for assistance in locating him while also searching for Alfred’s family. He discovered that Cecilia had relocated to a cabin in the woods with her children before the explosion. He found them and was relieved to see them alive.
Cecilia was likewise relieved to find Sigbjorn alive and invited him to stay at her place. However, while Sigbjorn and Cecilia struggled to overcome the grief of Alfred’s absence, they grew intimate. Sigbjorn, who had never known what it was like to have a family, wanted to embrace Cecilia, but he couldn’t express much because he felt guilty that his friend may still be alive somewhere. A few years later, he discovered information about Alfred, which put him in a quandary that he couldn’t explain to anybody. Considering that he was a close friend to Alfred and did not want to steal his position in his family, he went out to find him.
After saving Alfred from a miserable state in Singapore, he urged him to return home alone. Sigbjorn didn’t want to find happiness by stealing it from others, especially not from his one and only companion. Therefore, he didn’t go to Bergen with him to avoid embarrassment. He didn’t even try to get in touch with Cecilia, and he kept his distance from Alfred’s family for a number of years. He valued his friend’s suffering and the purpose behind his survival, which is why he gradually faded from the picture. Then, after many years, he paid a visit to his pal simply to see if he was all right. He even checked on Cecilia, who could still have a lot to say to him but suppressed herself so as not to make her husband feel uncomfortable. Therefore, they both remained behind the glass door without properly saying their goodbyes.
What Made Cecilia And Sigbjorn Get Closer?
Cecilia was a strong woman who, like Alfred, saw his employment opportunity as a way to create a better life for their family, but neither of them expected the war would take so many years from their lives. She let Alfred depart in the belief that when he returned, he would have enough money to support his family, but that never happened. While waiting for her husband to return home, she wasted a lot of her youth. She raised her children on her own, and one of them, Olav, had no idea what his father looked like.
Throughout this time, she even lived with the terror that the British bombardment could take her and her children’s lives at any time. As a result, she moved into a cabin in the woods right away. All of this she accomplished and handled on her own, despite Alfred’s inability to support them financially. She may have wished for her husband to return, leaving the work behind, but she couldn’t get a message to him at the moment. So she spent virtually her whole life waiting to actually live.
After learning that Alfred’s ship had been blown up, she gave up waiting and worked hard to become self-sufficient. In doing so, she was unable to fulfill her own needs or desires. Therefore, after Sigbjorn was back, she hoped to start over with him. She decided to move in with him, but Alfred was found alive in the meantime. She was glad to see her husband back, but her feelings for him had changed. She had gotten closer to Sigbjorn, so accepting Alfred back into her life was tough. Yet neither she nor Sigbjorn could make any further moves toward one another for the sake of Alfred and the agony he had endured for so long. Sigbjorn and Cecilia both valued his suffering and accepted his presence in their lives. Several years later, when Sigbjorn arrived to meet his friend, Cecilia could only watch him go out through the kitchen’s glass door. Their clandestine love is never realized, and they both bear the consequences for the rest of their lives.