A three-part story of Norway's worst terrorist attack in which over seventy people were killed. 22 July looks at the disaster itself, the survivors, Norway's political system and the lawyers who worked on this horrific case.
Anders Danielsen Lie,
Jonas Strand Gravli,
The film was selected to compete for the Golden Bear in the main competition section at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival. It received eight nominations for the 2018 Amanda Awards during the Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund, winning two: Best Actress (Andrea Berntzen as Kaja) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Solveig Koløen Birkeland as the injured girl). See more »
I'd already watched Paul Greengrass' film 22 July. Despite Utoya July 22 being about the same atrocity, you could not get 2 different films. Whilst Greengrass gave Brevik a platform and invited viewers to try and comprehend his actions, perhaps in an attempt to learn and move on, Erik Poppe's Utoya instead focuses entirely on the victims - the young Labour Party members camping on the island. In a poignant start to the film, the main lead, Kaja, looks directly into the camera and says "you'll never understand" (it turns out she's talking to her mum on the phone).
There is some debate as to whether either of these films should've been made at all. As harrowing as they are, I think they both have their place in trying to enhance our understanding of the horror of terrorist attacks such as these.
In a very clever piece of technical direction, it looks like the film is shot 'live' in one single take to mirror the horror of the 72 minutes of the young people's terrifying ordeal, whilst Brevik was attacking them.
Did I enjoy the film? No. Am I pleased I watched it? Yes. Would I recommend it? Most certainly. Does it, along with Greengrass' July 22, enhance our understanding? The jury's out. 7 out of ten
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