Paul GreengrassNorway / Iceland143 minutes2018ColourEnglish
Although 22 July begins in carnage, it emerges as a portrait of resistance to terror, and resilience inspired by moral clarity. The first third of the film is an unblinking portrait of what happened in Norway on July 22, 2011. A man detonates a car bomb in downtown Oslo. He then goes to a Labour Party–affiliated youth camp and opens fire. "You will die today," he says. "Marxists, liberals, members of the elite." In total he kills 77 people and wounds over 200. From there, 22 July becomes a kind of ethical procedural, with the generous mechanisms of the Norwegian justice system forced to deal with an extremist beyond anything it has ever encountered. Director Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips, United 93) made the film in English, but with a cast of Norwegian actors, creating an added immediacy and authenticity for English-speaking audiences. It's one of several bold choices, all of which give a clear picture that shows how a society can respond to violent hate by reaffirming the moral principles at its foundation.