In 1936, Nobel Laureate Knut Hamsun(Max von Sydow) and his wife of thirty years, Marie(Ghita Norby), have a massive row that lays bare the anger that has always existed just beneath the surface, especially as it involves their sending away the kids to boarding school so he can write and his not writing. In the meantime, Marie goes to hear a not-so-crowded lecture by National Socialist Vidkun Quisling(Sverre Anker Ousdal). So, when Marie and Knut reunite, they have something to talk about.
Aided by an excellent performance by Max von Sydow in the title role, "Hamsun" would have worked much better as an intimate drama, instead of going for epic stature which only serves to muddle the details of this potentially interesting story with marginally relevant family details. Overall, this is the life of a writer considered a national treasure in his home country of Norway who also acted against its national interests during World War II. In fact, Hamsun did try to use his position to do some good, but as a right wing anti-communist monarchist not having read the big print had no real idea who he was dealing with in the Nazis. It is also possible that he believed their propaganda just as the Nazis used him for propaganda purposes with the cameras going non-stop. All of which just goes to prove you cannot tell everything about an artist from their creative work.