I was looking for some sort of definitive prison film list on letterboxd, but didn't find one that was quite…
King of Devil's Island
Based on a true story: Norwegian winter, 1915. On the island Bastøy, outside Oslo, a group of young boys aged 11 to 18, are held in an institution for delinquent youth, notorious for its sadistic regime. One day a new boy, Erling, arrives, determined to escape from the island. After a tragic incident, he ends up leading the boys in a violent uprising. When the boys manage to take over the island, 150 soldiers are sent in to restore order.
King of Devil’s Island is an accomplished Nordic prison drama centring on an uprising at the unforgiving borstal on the Bastøy Prison island. The rebellion is a fictionalised account of real events that occurred in 1915 as a group of young offenders fight against their strict rulers and harsh conditions. The broad strokes of the plot will feel familiar to anybody who has seen a prison drama before (the tyrannical guards, attempts at escape and a sense of camaraderie amongst the inmates) but the young cast and forbidding landscape helps make the film stand apart from its contemporaries.
It’s easy to see why Bastøy Prison was used for 50 odd years and why it would break the spirits of many…
Another good one! I'm liking my list a lot so far!
Since I've seen Oslo August 31st, Reprise, the Dragon Tattoo trilogy and even the fan favorite Troll Hunter I was worried that I wasn't going to be able to continue my streak of great films from the Scandinavian region.
King of Devil's Island probably sounded like a weird choice for my Norwegian film, but I chose it because of its interesting setup, and its easy availability on Netflix. There are probably better Norwegian films out there, but this film was absolutely great and I'm very glad I included it.
The film is a dramatization of a…
Scavenger Hunt #14
Task #2. A Scandinavian teen/coming of age film
"I once saw a whale get hit by three harpoons, and still keep going. It took him a whole day to die."
This was so much better than I was expecting.
King of Devil's Island tells the story of Bastøy, an early twentieth-century juvenile detention camp and the struggles between the Bastøy boys and their oppressive rulers.
The film's strongest aspect is its character depth. Every main character is pulled in multiple directions and has deeply ingrained motivations, so that when everything comes to a head there is a real intensity. The actors also get really into it and they are all so brilliant that I was…
King of Devil's Island is based on the true story of an uprising at the infamous Bastøy Boys home correctional facility in Norway. The bleak surroundings and bitter cold are captured beautifully, allowing us to feel these young boy's misery as they face not only the elements, but the extreme abuse of power by the staff. The this place sucks story has been done to death, but solid acting and directing make King of Devil's Island a good film that's well worth seeing.
King of Devil’s Island offers a sensitive, yet haunting depiction of a tragic chapter in Norwegian history. Set in 1915, inside a correctional facility for difficult boys on the island of Bastøy, this touching drama exposes the corruption, exploitation and physical and mental abuse that occurred within.
The intense narrative is supplemented by a compelling metaphor of a young fisherman’s battles with a determined whale; an allegory that matches the coming of age sentiments at the heart of this gripping study of injustice, friendship and uprising against a brutal regime.
The entire cast provide convincing performances, with Benjamin Helstad and Stellan Skarsgård as the standouts, but the strength of this film is in its detailed milieu. Production design, costumes and…
Damn, that's ruined my mood.
Seriously though this was a tremendous film that really gives a punch. Harrowing and unsettling for it's honest depiction of a rather unsavoury part of Norwegian history.
The young cast are excellent across the board and really show up the failings of many Hollywood peers while the always brilliant Stellan Skarsgård plays his unpleasant role well.
Marius Holst was unknown to me but his direction here is simple and elegant and he manages to balance the darker elements with a sweet tale of friendship and honour. The landscapes are as harsh as they are beautiful and captured wonderfully, adding a hefty dose of realism to the film.
Recommended. Though you'll be down on the world for a while after.
Un excelente drama, épico y apasionante con muy buenas actuaciones y una producción sencilla pero impresionante.
Stellan Skarsgård esta magnifico.
An excellent drama, epic and exciting with very good performances and a simple but impressive production.
Stellan Skarsgard is superb.
Tremenda, muy tremenda de Dios y muy triste también. Es una película dura que nos habla de un "centro para muchachos descarriados" a principios de siglo XX ubicado en un fría isla Noruega.
La recomendaría con los ojos cerrados
No destaca por su intensidad, ni por su originalidad, de hecho la historia resulta conocida y sólo sutilmente cautivadora. Son los escenarios, y el relato silencioso y oculto de una historia real lo que concilian e incomodan respectivamente. Abre una puerta a la reflexión sobre cómo resuelve la sociedad el problema de los adolescentes y jóvenes "dificiles". ¿Se busca realmente conciliarles con el resto de la humanidad? ¿Se les aisla porque molestan? ¿Se les devuelve con las mismas carencias pero sumisos y rencorosos?
everything about this was so unsettling. i'll probably never be able to watch this film again, just one viewing was more than enough.
dark thrilling stuff for a snug night in. probably average for a scandi movie but still better than most hollywood offerings.
The film doesn't have much to say and the characters never fully develop... Luckily, the fact that the events depicted are partially true makes this narrative extremely engaging. Because of this, the movie is entertaining, energetic and worth a watch... especially if you enjoy any type of prison flick.
Snow, wind, crackling ice, cruelty, hunger and a sadistic pedophile. Boys stripped of everything and at the mercy of the elements and the guards. Made me think of "The home of dark butterflies", a finnish equivalent of this. Harsh and grim but I did like it.
A gritty tale about Norwegian reform school. Excellent performances and location shooting. Unfortunately, it becomes somewhat over-dramatized, especially towards the end.
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