Utøya – July 22 Starring Andrea Berntzen, Aleksander Holmen & Solveig Koløen Birkeland, Directed by Erik Poppe
On July 22 2011 more than 500 youths at a political summer camp on an island outside Oslo were attacked by an armed, right-wing extremist. In this first fictional movie about the attack we get to know Kaja (18) and her friends.
The film kicks off when the youngsters, shocked by the bombing in Oslo, are reassuring their relatives that they are far away from the incident. Suddenly, the safe atmosphere is shattered when shots are heard. We then follow Kaja as she tries to survive – minute by minute – whilst looking for her younger sister.
A powerful and poignant film for our times, this is consistently unwavering in its tension, but never gratuitous. The director stays with the star throughout, making a docu-like feel, but although the possibilities were these to make it melodramatic, he refrained, keeping it a powerful Nordic drama.
Verdict: Hardgoing and punchy, but a must-see foreign language movie! ****
This film will be shown at The Harbour Club in Portscatho on Tuesday 5th March.