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  1. kenmorefield

    22 July (2018)

    I suspect this worked better for me because I saw it at a film festival. Context matters, and the more immersive experience of being in the dark, having less distractions, etc. certainly helps. I can't imagine watching it streaming on Netflix even as I recognize that is how a majority will see it. I still have never watched United 93, so I approached this with some degree of ambivalence, even trepidation. I am not sure I fully understand the cultural work performed by these docunarratives and how they differ from "inspired by a true story" films. The cynic in me wonders if it is the cinematic equivalent of just gawking or whether there is something necessary or perhaps healing in setting down these events. The first hero of the story is a young man who is shot and goes through extensive psychological and physical rehabilitation, culminating in his testimony at Brevik's trial. The second is a lawyer who reluctantly agrees to defend the shooter, drawing threats and reactions from traumatized onlookers. The breadth of the story makes the points it makes seem less on the nose. There is embedded pro-immigration stance, I guess, but its presented as personal rather than political. Brevik fears Norway is losing its white, Christian identity. His victim just misses his slain friend. There is also, I think, an implied criticism of America and the way we react to such events The film's coda appears to be that terrorism is defeated if it can't make us abandon our values in the face of trauma...that what unites a culture is not its racial or religious heritage (tribal think) but the way it manifests the principles and values that the political and religious heritage represent.
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