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How soon is too soon to make drama out of tragedy is a question that Hollywood has long wrestled with. 22 July director Paul Greengrass knows this terrain perhaps better than anyone, helming United 93 just five years after 9/11. Now, seven years on from the horrific Anders Breivik attacks in Norway, Greengrass has tackled these incomprehensible events.
Where the Norwegian-language U-July 22 focused exclusively on the Utoya island attack itself, 22 July expands the scope, following the personal, legal, and political fallout of the murders. It avoids ghoulishness, the shooting itself still a viscerally frightening part of the film, but not dwelt upon with any sort of grim or gory fascination.