Location: The Maltings Theatre & Cinema
Norway / Sweden
/ 2012 / 118 min / Cert. Suggested 15
Four young people want to change the world – then the world changes them. Sana, Henrik, Haakon and Johanne represent four different political youth parties, each with opposing views.
All have the courage to say what they really think of society, and are preparing for an upcoming election campaign with intense debate training. Sana is nervous before her first debate, Henrik is tired of having to defend himself against radical youths, Haakon is running for the local election, and Johanne is about to withdraw from the debating team.
On 21st July 2011, Johanne takes the ferry to the Workers Youth Party summer camp on the island of Utøya. The film crew stay with her until the 22nd, then return to Oslo to meet Sana. They are with Sana in the centre of Oslo when terror strikes.
Neo-nazi Anders Behring Breivik’s massacre of 69 young people on Utøya could easily have forced the film to change direction completely; but Kari Anne Moe expertly keeps the focus on the young people affected by the attack rather than the attack itself.
The film charts the massacre’s impact on Johanne, Haakon, Henrik and Sana, and the way it helps them to see beyond their political differences, reinforcing the importance of helping to make the world a better and safer place.
The original Norwegian title Til Ungdommen translates as For the Youths – a fitting tribute to a generation marked for life by 22nd July 2011.
Director Kari Ann Moe joins us from Oslo to give an extended introduction to her film.
“This is not a film about Utøya and the event itself. This is a film about young people and people in general. About school elections, first debates, laughter, smiles, and tears. About grief, shock, impact, and the nightmares that follow. You will not see anything you have not already seen, or learn something you did not already know about 22 July 2011. You will, however, gain hugely important insight into one of our country’s most horrific events.”
Kari Anne Moe, from Sandefjord in Norway, is best known for Salesman 329, her film about Oslo salesman Knut Olav Brurud-Johannessen. She wrote and directed Bravehearts, her third documentary and the first to receive a theatrical release. In Bravehearts we follow four politically involved youths between Summer 2009 and Autumn 2011; Kari Anne Moe was herself an active youth politician, leading both Sosialistisk ungdom (Socialist Youth) and Ungdom mot EU (Youth against the EU).