I read the web-publication Filmmaker Magazine regularly. They publish each month a VOD-calendar with their picks and I have used…
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…
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…
Stellt euch vor, Antoine Doinel findet am Ende von "Sie küssten und sie schlugen ihn" eine Waffe und dreht wieder um. Oder die Kinder in Jean Vigos Zéro de conduite greifen zu mehr als Kissen. Ein Film wie ein Konzentrationslager. Intensiv erzählt, intensiver gespielt. Fast physische Wut und Frustration.
Basierend auf wahren Begebenheiten? Schön, aber egal. Emotionale Wahrheit wiegt im Kino mehr als Fakten. Ein Film der uns die dunkle Seite zeigt. Leider nicht immer so stilsicher wie gewünscht, die Titanic-Bildsprache am Ende hätte nicht sein müssen. Trotzdem: Packend wie die Hände der Unterdrücker. Bewegend, aber auf die Art, wie man von einem Soldat durch den Schnee gezerrt wird auf dem Weg zum sicheren Ende.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Based on a true story of an early 19th century, Norwegian story about at an uprising at the Bastøy juvenile camp.
I've seen a few of these kinds of movies, and I have to say that while this one was really good, it steered away from the typical abuses on the children by "evil" caretakers. Instead, we see the kids doing some hard labor, but generally given some freedoms and are generally fairly treated considering their situation (Bastøy or prison).
But then it turns out that one of the boys has endured molestation from the "housefather" (I guess he manages the kids, though "Mr. Governor" manages Bastøy). The other kids are led to believe that the housefather was dealt with…
Stellen is all over the marketing of this film, but he really is a bit part player here. As it happens, the film is all the better for focusing on the kids. Things start off a bit Moby Dick-ish (it even looks like they've pulled clips from the Gregory Peck version of that movie), become a little If...ish, before blossoming into The Titanic at the end. It's a strangely satisfying mix.
King of Devil's Island is a perfect example of a film that is well made, well performed and interesting enough but still wholly unsubstantial.
There's nothing surprising or particularly resonant to be found here in another telling of historical oppression and though I believe the stories are worth remembering if only out of respect for those who suffered, I could have felt and learned the same things by reading a Wikipedia article on the subject.
Bleak Norwegian period drama which was better than I expected; its stories revolve around three boys at a juvenile detention centre on a remote island run by Christian missionaries. There are sad moments, dramatic moments and the climax; all parts were well played and the pace of the story and direction felt good. Overall I found it compelling and was glad I came across it.
Fairly routine but competently executed drama which contains very little surprises. Skaarsgard is a dominating presence - you wish he'd been given a bit more to work with. The younger actors all hold their own though.
Pretty good drama with some great imagery. I haven't seen Stellan Skarsgard in a bad film, ever.
Depressing, but quite powerful. I loved how insulated this film, the story, the characters, the location are. We never even find out what Erland has been imprisoned for. And that incredible landscape, all the elements of this film make the outside world truly disappear. This one will stick with me.
The kind of Film that would make you never want to take your eyes off the Norwegian landscape. Beautifully Filmed.
King of Devil's Island (Norwegian: Kongen av Bastøy) Norwegian film, written by Dennis Magnusson and directed by Marius Holst. Starring Stellan Skarsgård and Benjamin Helstad, Kristoffer Joner. It received premier at Lübeck Nordic Film Days. It was filmed in Estonia - based on the actual events that occurred at Bastøy Prison (few miles away from Oslo fjord, Norway).
Set in 1915 - Bestyreren (Stellan) is head of the escape-proof Bastøy detention prison at small islet, funded by the Church. Every now and then juveniles are sailed on boat to detention center, to be brought-up under discipline and code-of-conduct. At detention-center strict and aggressive punishments are carried out against boys who violate the rules - hidden from church.
In the opening…
My list of foreign world cinema,from the art house to the extreme.
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