A screenshot from 'Battle for Birthday Mountain'. Photo: MEL Films
Although the Norwegian government has resisted public pressure to offer a mountain summit to neighbouring Finland as part of its independence centenary celebrations, the idea is far from dead.
A newly-released short film chronicles the efforts of Bjørn Geirr Harsson, a retired Norwegian geophysicist, to convince Norway to alter its national borders in order to move the 1,361-metre (4,465-foot) high Mount Halti to Finland.
The film, ‘Battle for Birthday Mountain’, can be seen here. Story continues below.
“On the surface, this is a cute film about a very unique kind of gift between nations. But at its heart is something real and relevant,” Freid said. “While we witness the rising tumult along international borders -- from Ukraine and Russia, to the South China Sea, to Trump's proposed border wall with Mexico -- the idea behind 'Birthday Mountain' is a rare international gesture worth admiring.”
As the film shows, the Norwegian government has ruled out the idea
of transferring Mount Halti to Finland, with PM Erna Solberg saying that "border adjustments between countries raises complex legal issues."
In this case the problems were insurmountable. The lofty gift-giving idea ran up against Article 1 of the Norwegian constitution which stipulates that the kingdom of Norway is "indivisible and inalienable".