Utoya – July 22

Norway, 2018 / 90 Mins

Director: Erik Poppe

Starring: Andrea Berntzen, Aleksander Holmen

On 22 July 2011 five hundred young people attending a summer camp on the island of Utøya were attacked by a heavily armed right-wing extremist. The murderous attack claimed the lives of 69 victims. It was a trauma that rocked Norway to the core, and still does to this day. Director Erik Poppe has dared to attempt to turn the events of that summer into a film. His drama opens with documentary footage of Oslo where, shortly beforehand, the same attacker had exploded a car bomb killing eight people; the scene then shifts to the island. The camera follows 19-year-old Kaja who is spending a few days of the holiday here with her young sister Emilie. The two are quarrelling because Emilie is in no mood for the camp and has absolutely no desire to go to the barbecue. And so Kaja ends up going alone. Suddenly, the first gunshot is heard.

This first shot marks the beginning of a breathless 72-minute-long reconstruction of events, filmed in a single take, as seen through the eyes of the victims. Kaja’s desperate search for Emilie. The fear in the eyes of the young people. Their escape into the forest. Their desperate hope of rescue. And the unknown assassin, getting closer and closer.

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