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Summer with Selik Review by Nancy Wagner

Directed by Trygve Berge
Berge Film & TV Production

This video tells the true story of a teenage girl named Katrine and a newborn harbor seal that she rescues from certain death along the western coast of Norway near their summer home. She nurses the seal she names Selik to health, first tube feeding it, then stuffing ever-increasing sizes of raw fish down its throat. Eventually it has to learn to feed itself, a hurdle that turns out to be a big one for Selik.

The scenery, filming, and so on, are all wonderful. Trygve Berge is a renowned Norwegian nature and wildlife filmmaker, and this is a masterpiece, showing the beauty of the area both along the rocky, rugged coastline and underwater in the bay just below the Arctic Circle. But this is more than just a nature film. Katrine matures during the summer as she quickly finds out that feeding a baby seal every four hours and caring for him as he grows and gets heavier and more mobile is not an easy thing to do, but she faces each new challenge along the way until Selik is finally able to care for himself and ready to be set free. The film is narrated by Katrine. She talks about her feelings each step of the way and her battle to keep reminding herself that Selik is not a pet but a wild animal that must be set free in the end, no matter how close they become. Along the way, the viewer learns a lot about not just harbor seals but also other marine and bird life native to that area.

I totally recommend this movie. At first I couldn't get my 11-year-old son to pay much attention, but he apparently was listening because when it came time to watch the sequel on the same DVD filmed the following summer, he abandoned the computer to quietly take a seat and watched the entire sequel. This is a wonderful science resource as well as wholesome family entertainment.

Product review by Nancy Wagner, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2006