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Utøya 22. Juli (2018)

Drama | 92 minutes
3,51 594 votes

Genre: Drama / Thriller

Duration: 92 minuten

Alternative titles: Utøya: July 22 / U - July 22

Country: Norway

Directed by: Erik Poppe

Stars: Andrea Berntzen, Aleksander Holmen and Brede Fristad

IMDb score: 7,2 (15.695)

Releasedate: 9 March 2018

Utøya 22. Juli plot

"The day that changed us forever"

On July 22, 2011, five hundred young people at 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 people. It was a trauma that touched Norway to the core, and still does to this day. 19-year-old Kaja spends a few days on the island with her younger sister Emilie. The two argue because Emilie is not in the mood for camp and has absolutely no desire to go to the barbecue. And so Kaja ends up alone. Then suddenly the first shot is heard...

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avatar van tbouwh


  • 5634 messages
  • 4952 votes

He (Poppe) really couldn't have chosen his film form better, is the thought that dominates after seeing the film. Because we constantly share the perspective of the victims. Feel their fear. And only see the perpetrator looming in the distance. Like a vague shadow that has no right to exist in the film either. The opening credits frame the Norwegian as autochthonous and extreme right, his name is never mentioned.

A possible criticism of Utøya 22 July is therefore not that the film does injustice to the victims. On the contrary. However, the dramatized plot raises the necessary question marks. It is conceivable that the Norwegian youngsters thought about an idealized life after Utøya. That they reminisced and still called their parents. But that there was time for delayed death scenes? Where even those mercilessly hard gunshots died away for a moment? The screenwriters (Anna Bache-Wiig, Siv Rajendram Eliassen) could have been more careful (even more ruthless?) with their fictionalized storyline.

The feeling that may (and must) dominate is that of helplessness. It took an awfully long time for help to arrive. The young people were shooting targets, supervisors are not seen in the film. Consciously? Poppe certainly does not shy away from his criticism of the authorities. How meaningful his words are today is a big question. But as a lore, the film does, precisely and only because it is so intense.

A phenomenal Andrea Berntzen (main character Kaja) stimulates the desire to understand July 22. To identify with her, and with that with all those young people. That works for a long time. Until you leave the cinema, and it all slips away again. The past is and remains terrifyingly elusive – also through the eyes of the other person.

full review and interview links

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van Noodless


  • 9184 messages
  • 5822 votes

Surprisingly low score from me despite a film that should stick with you.

I can't help it, but at least the film itself didn't leave an impression.

I felt little given the tragedy, maybe the way of filming. However, the camera work is definitely good, but somehow it didn't work. Maybe the 72-minute havoc is just too long with many of the same scenes or scenes that take way too long, which subconsciously takes the pace, the tension, the horror out of the film. The acting also did not provide the necessary power that this film should radiate. I found it rather bland. Looked at the hour a few times and that's not a good sign after all. 5/10

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van Fisico

Fisico (moderator films)

  • 8114 messages
  • 4612 votes

Very moving film about the dramatic events on Utoya. Poppe has managed to create a compellingly dramatic and serene image of the shooting on the island. He consciously chose to pay little or no attention to the perpetrator. His name is not mentioned and he is not physically visible, except for once or twice. And if it did, it was a long way off. In this way, full attention can be drawn to the victims.

What came out very well in the film was the fear and panic that reigned among the young people. Misunderstandings arose and at first some thought it was the police who fired at them. What is typical of such traumatic experiences is the fact that you act on autopilot or go into survival mode. It's every man for himself and that manifests itself in some people in selfish behavior. Seems completely normal to me.

Based on many testimonials, Poppe paints a good picture of what happened. He constructed a solid plot from the point of view of Kaja who goes in search of her sister Emilie. The hand-held camera provides an extra oppressive atmosphere. The loud sobs and heavy breathing also contribute to that typical chaos atmosphere. Finally, the acting performances were also strong, making the film believable. The idea of working with real time is catching on. Handsome, well deserved 4.0*. Now also curious about the brother on Netflix which is said to be slightly more explicit.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original