Norwegian winter, early 20th century. On the boys home Bastoy, a new inmate leads the boys to a violent uprising against a brutal regime. How far is he willing to go to attain freedom?
After yesterday’s crypto auto-biographical tale of lone confinement in Iran comes this fictional tale of communal imprisonment in Norway. Two different eras, nations, ages, and cultures: A moving double bill of oppression spatial, psychological and social. Co-starring the great Stellan Skarsgård.
This film bears many parallels to a recent Finnish film called 'Home of Dark Butterflies' and where that one fails this one triumphs. Solid acting, superb cinematography and a subtle and restrained score all help flesh it out. It's just a shame that it doesn't really offer anything we haven't seen before in any number of sadistic prison films and lord-of-the-flies type stories. 3 stars
A prison story focusing on the abuse of power done extremely right. The heart and soul of "King of Devil's Island" is as warm as it is raw; as if William Golding had written Alan Clarke's "Scum" and set it in Norway. While the Bastøy prison system is now known for its elegant liberalism, this film portrays children under siege, fighting for what they see as morality. Beautifully and flawlessly executed.
A token bully film, albeit this time in the wilderness, where teachers scare and abuse their students in a variety of ways, applying different techniques. At times beautiful, but mostly very linear and obvious. A couple of stellar performances from the boy actors, but otherwise just a clean walkthrough.
D'après un fait divers authentique, une honnête réalisation norvégienne qui dénonce une situation pénitentiaire lourde et rigide, d'une relative inhumanité gestionnaire et comportementale, classique pour l'époque, avec un monolithique Stellan Skargsgard, égal à lui-même, c'est-à- dire immergé avec aisance et délectation dans un singulier rôle de vieille crapule hypocrite et faible...