Lovers of the Arctic Circle (Los amantes del círculo polar) is a Spanish drama movie from 1998. Its written and directed by Julio Médem. The level of complexity of his work is again evident, as in all of Medem’s previous movies. This particular story is portraying a grand love affair that started when Otto and Ana where young. They met as children and the movie follows them into adulthood. The two eventually fall in love, but are put in situations time and time again that make it very difficult for them to stay that way. Both having palindromic names. A palindrome is a word that reads the same in whichever direction you read it. Spelled the same forwards or backwards and it has a special meaning. The end is as the beginning and the beginning is as the end. This is an important fact, as this ties back into the whole story where everything always revolves as in a circle.
Since most of Medem’s stories are that of romantic fate, In whatever way or form it takes shape. This also features heavily in “Lovers of the artic circle”. The movie is built up of a total of three chapters and each chapter deals with a specific part of Ana and Otto’s growing up. The first chapter is when they are small children and have a chance meeting in the forest where they first meet. The second chapter of the story is when they are adolescents and discovering everything about themselves and life. The third chapter portrays when they are both young adults and as we follow them along all of these chapters, you truly manage to get a good understanding for what makes them as people.
This movie also beautifully features a double perspective on how this story is told. One from the side of Ana (Najwa Nimri) and the other from how Otto (Fele Martínez) perceives the story. This providing a personal narrative from the characters as it portrays the double sided way in which love can sometimes be seen by people in the same relationship. But though all of these story lines its clear though that Ana’s destiny will be linked forever with Otto’s…” and to quote Julio Medem himself about this movie, he said: “The movie is marked by coincidences and by an instinct of escapism from the reality the characters do not like.”