With the home video release of King of Devil’s Island, one of the most astonishing films of the year, we at Best For Film were lucky enough to be invited to the top of a very tall building in London to interview Norwegian director Marius Holst. Thankfully, his English is superb, and he has plenty of insight into the stark, unforgettable story of the Bastøy Boys.
Norwegian islands play host to some pretty dark events. Long before the horrors of summer 2011, Bastøy Island was the home of a now infamous prison colony for troublesome boys, where dire conditions led to an uprising so overwhelming that the Navy was called in to control it – one of only two occasions in Norway’s history when its military forces were turned on its own people. To recreate all the drama of this cataclysmic event is, you would think, enough for any movie. Not so King Of Devil’s Island, which ultimately pulls out more stops than it can handle in its attempt to not just tell the story of Bastøy, but to make you think – and think deep.