TrustNordisk has acquired international sales rights to Erik Poppe’s “U,” the first fiction feature about the 2011 terror attack in Norway by a right-wing extremist who killed 77 people, many of them teenagers. Poppe’s credits include “A Thousand Times Goodnight” (pictured above), with Juliette Binoche, and “The King’s Choice.”
“U” will be told from the perspectives of the youths who lived through the terrible events of July 22, 2011, which began with a car bomb that exploded in Oslo’s government quarter. Two hours later, right-wing militant Anders Behring Breivik attacked a political youth summer camp on the island of Utøya, killing 68 people and injuring many others.
“The main characters in ‘U’ are fictional, but the film aspires to focus on recreating the drama close to how it happened, reflecting the time it took and the feelings that unfolded – in an as respectable manner as possible,” TrustNordisk said.
Susan Wendt, the director of international sales and marketing at TrustNordisk, said “U” is a “remarkable and insightful interpretation of these youths’ experiences, based on thorough research and interviews with survivors….It is also a more relevant story than we would like to wish for, in this day and age.”
Poppe said the film will play a crucial role in bringing “the attention back to those who died on Utøya, all their bereaved and all the survivors.” He said that so far, “the terrorist who carried out this terrible [atrocity] has attracted far more attention than the victims of the tragedy.”
“It is not possible to represent ‘the truth’ with such a movie, but I hope to make the victims’ experiences better understood,” Poppe said. “The reality exceeds imagination, and one of art’s tasks is to convey the incomprehensible.”
Written by Siv Rajendram and Anna Bache-Wiig, “U” is produced by Finn Gjerdrum and Stein B. Kvae for Paradox Film, and supported by The Norwegian Film Institute, Nordisk Film & TV Fund and the Media Programme of Creative Europe.