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King of Devil's Island (2010)
"Kongen av Bastøy" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Action, Drama  |  17 December 2010 (Norway)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 11,813 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 97 critic

Norwegian winter, early 20th century. On the boys home Bastoy, a new inmate leads the boys to a violent uprising against a brutal regime. How far is he willing to go to attain freedom?

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Erling / C-19
Trond Nilssen ...
Olav / C-1
...
Bestyreren
...
Bråthen
Magnus Langlete ...
Ivar / C-5
Morten Løvstad ...
Øystein
Daniel Berg ...
Johan
Odin Gineson Brøderud ...
Axel
Magnar Botten ...
Lillegutt
Markus Brustad ...
Jan
Agnar Jeger Holst ...
Arne
Tommy Jakob Håland ...
Terje
Richard Safin ...
Eirik
Frank-Thomas Andersen ...
Bjarne
Nils-Fredrik Tveter ...
Husfar
Edit

Storyline

Based on a true story: Norwegian winter, early 20th century. On the island Bastoy, located in the Oslo fjord live a group of delinquent, young boys aged 11 to 18. The boys daily, sadistic regime is run by the guards and the principal who bestow both mental and physical abuse on them. Instead of the boys being straightened out with education they end up being used as cheap, manual labor. The boys attempt to survive by adapting to their inhumane conditions. One day a new boy, Erling (17), arrives with his own agenda; how to escape from the island. How far is he willing to go in order to get his freedom? Written by JRN

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

| | |

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 December 2010 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

King of Devil's Island  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

NOK 54,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$554 (USA) (16 December 2011)

Gross:

$7,166 (USA) (3 February 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Extended Edition)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was shot in 54 days. See more »

Quotes

Erling: Let me go, let me go...
See more »

Soundtracks

Sigur 1 (Untitled)
Performed by Sigur Rós
Music & Lyrics by Kjartan Sveinsson, Jon Thor Birgisson, Georg Holm, Orri P. Dyrason
Universal Music Publishing Scandinavia AB
(P) 2002 FatCat Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Really solid, well acted, well filmed, and well-worn turf...
17 June 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

King of Devil's Island (2010)

A very straight forward, hard hitting, well acted account based on a true story of a boy's penal colony on a Norwegian Island early in the 20th Century.

That says it all. It is what it is, and there is the almost inevitable rebel and leader among the boys against the sometimes evil, sometimes indifferent adults who rule the group with false benevolence. You know who is right and who is wrong, and you follow the plot with a mixture of expectation and outrage. It's dramatic great stuff. Yes, been there and seen that somehow before, but it's severe and beautiful in its setting and intense and provocative within.

It might be interesting to compare this to more famous prison movies (the dubious "Shawshank" and earlier classics like "Birdman from Alcatraz") to realize how much this one is holding to a line of truth. As much as the events are extreme (eventually), the filmmaking is filled with restraint. Compare further to a movie like "Shutter Island" and you know that this one is practically a grey, subdued documentary.

And this is to its advantage. It's not a mind-blowing experience in cinema terms--it's just a really well done, focused, sensitive telling of a forgotten story of repression and survival and maybe, in the end, the every lifting human spirit.


18 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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