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The Giant (2005)

Giganten (original title)
We follow the TV personality "the giant" Erik Bye in several project the three last years of his life. Even if he got sick the latter months of is life, his thoughts was very much alive.
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Credited cast:
Willy Andresen Willy Andresen ... Himself
Erik Bye Erik Bye ... As himself


We follow the TV personality "the giant" Erik Bye in several project the three last years of his life. Even if he got sick the latter months of is life, his thoughts was very much alive.

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Release Date:

2 September 2005 (Norway) See more »

Also Known As:

The Giant See more »


Box Office


NOK4,294,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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User Reviews

a giant in decline, with a soul in rise
13 September 2005 | by killingentelletiltiSee all my reviews

Erik Bye was, and will be remembered as one of the most remarkable culture personalities in the early years of Norwegian television, (ie from the mid-fifties an onward through the 1980ies). He was one of those dinosaurs from the back in the days when there was only one channel, and it was state financed, and its outspoken purpose was to enlighten the people, weird as it may sound. A trained journalist, philologist and dramatizer Bye worked with the Associated Press, the Norwegian department of BBC, and later with the NRK (the Norwegian state broadcaster). Known as one who would fight for the weak of the society, he did outstanding work among other things covering the civil war in Biafra, an event he would often comment on with a bleeding heart later in his life. Bye was also a musician, a poet and an author, among other things.

Still, the younger, Norwegian audience, probably connect Erik Bye, above all with sailor-romanticism and some very boring Saturday night TV entertainment during the eighties, where sailor-songs would be sung-along. For that, I wish the film would have shown even more of the political Bye. That is my biggest lament towards "Giganten".

The documentary consists of different pieces of film taken during the last three years of Erik Byes life (he died the 13th of October 2004), in different physical shapes, and rapidly declining. It focuses, however, not on his illness, but on his music and his musings on society, globalization, world poverty and his own legacy in the arts. The film is nicely made, and worth seeing for the sake of Bye, and it had me weeping at least once (when he talks about how he and his wife word their love for each other), so there's certainly atmosphere to it.

I said, unconvincingly, the film doesn't focus on his illness. The problem, however, is he IS very ill in a lot of the takes, and even though superficially that is not a theme for the movie (there's even a scene where he is talking to a composer who asks him about his health, and he says something to the effect of "that's nothing to talk about"), there's still a feeling the film is trying to portray a *former* giant - in decline. And it's very melancholic. Also, his monologues about politics are not followed up in a coherent way, which gives the feeling that the director is trying to show us a "nice, picturesque old man, who cares about the hungry children in Africa". It would be on the verge of being degrading, had it not been for the dignity inherent in the man portrayed.

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