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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
This is a very solid film. I do not understand why one of the other reviewers felt the boys were not sympathetic. Only one of the kids appears to have committed a serious crime. The others are there for petty things like stealing change from a church collection basket. That said, as good as the film is, it is not clear how much of it is really history, and how much just conjecture. I've read elsewhere that the only part of the film that is known to be true is that there was a revolt and that soldiers responded from the mainland (one of only two times the Norwegian government has trained its guns on its own citizens). The reasons behind the revolt are said to be mere conjecture.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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