From The Hunger Games to Utøya and The Hate U Give: how cinema declared war on the young

the Guardian | 10/12/2018 | Danny Leigh

The facts are public knowledge. On 22 July 2012, wearing a police uniform bought online, Anders Behring Breivik took the ferry MS Thorbjørn to the island of Utøya, north-west of Oslo. There, teenagers were attending a summer camp organised by the Norwegian Labour party. Two hours earlier, Breivik had detonated a car bomb outside the office of the prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, killing eight people. Now, in the course of just over an hour, he shot dead 69 more. The majority of the victims were in their teens.

Two films now return us to that day. The British director Paul Greengrass brings us 22 July; Utøya – July 22 is by Norwegian director Erik Poppe. Poppe’s Utøya takes place in howlingly stark real time, confined to the island for the 72 minutes of the massacre. Greengrass also deals with the aftermath, the frail recovery of survivors and the trial of Breivik – for all his stunted fantasy life, not a child but a man of 32.

Theatre - Kids - Greengrass - Autumn - Morning

“He absolutely understood the theatre of killing kids,” Greengrass says, when I meet him on an autumn morning in London. “The symbolism. You cut off tomorrow’s head. He designed it that way.”

Adults in police uniforms, the dead bodies of young people: similar imagery hangs over another new film, one likely to be seen by a vast number of teenagers. Directed by George Tillman Jr, The Hate U Give, based on the bestselling YA novel by Angie Thomas, recently opened in the US to strong reviews. The heroine is Starr, a 16-year-old African American schoolgirl who sees her best friend shot dead by a white police officer during a stop and search. From that night, she is propelled into activism.

Readers - Book - World - Litany

Readers of the book knew it to be rooted in the real world – the grim litany of...
(Excerpt) Read more at: the Guardian
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