Newsweek

Director Paul Greengrass on His New Film '22 July'

In the story of Norwegian militant Anders Behring Breivik, filmmaker Paul Greengrass saw an inciting moment for our fractured time.
The island of Utoya, where Breivik, opposite, murdered 69 people in 2011. Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in prison. He delivered a Nazi salute when he returned to court in 2016 to contest solitary confinement as "inhumane." The government rejected his claims.
FE_Greengrass_01 Source: Photo Illustration by Gluekit (Soruce images from left: TORE MEEK/AFP/Getty; LISE AASERUD/AFP/Getty)

On July 22, 2011, a heavily armed 32-year-old man posing as a police officer arrived on Norway’s Utoya Island, site of the annual Workers’ Youth League summer camp, which trains leaders for Norway’s left-leaning Labour Party. He told staffers he was there to protect the island from right-wing extremists who had bombed the Oslo office of the prime minister less than two hours before.

The man told the campers to remain calm; no one could hurt them now. But within minutes, his true intention was revealed when he turned his semi-automatic rifle on the young men and women, mostly teenagers, some as young as 14. “You will die today Marxist liberals, members of the elite,” he announced, as he sprayed the crowd with bullets.

The terrified campers scattered into the trees. For just over an hour, the killer stalked them, methodically gunning down whomever he found, pushing his victims through the woods, to the small island’s edges, until there was nowhere left to hide. By the time the police arrived, he had killed 69 people and injured 100 more.

The lone gunman, a right-wing extremist named Anders Behring Breivik, had also been responsible for the Oslo explosion

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