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(aka 'King of Devil's Island')


Directed by Marius Holst
Norway 2010


This true story of the infamous Bastøy Boys Home correctional facility in Norway, begins with the arrival of seventeen-year-old Erling, a rumored murderer. He immediately clashes with the island facility's governor (Stellan Skarsgård), who believes manual labor, rigid discipline, and harsh punishment are the only methods that can turn the boys into honorable members of society. Refusing to accept the constant abuse, Erling slowly rouses the rest of the boys out of their resigned existence, and encourages them to fight to lift up their spirits. When tragedy finally falls at the hand of the sadistic dorm master, Erling leads his comrades in a courageous and vicious rebellion that will bring them head to head with no less than the Norwegian Army.


Theatrical Release: December 17th, 2010

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DVD Review: Film Movement - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Film Movement - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:56:12 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.38 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Norwegian (Dolby Digital 5.1), Norwegian (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English, None

Release Information:
Studio: Film Movement

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Bios and Trailers
• Short Film: BALE by Al Mackay (14:55)

DVD Release Date: April 10th, 2012

Keep Case
Chapters: 12



Another take on the 'prison picture' with an excellent Stellan Skarsgård as the hardliner and plenty of compelling performances as the juvenile lads who want more gruel. It's an old battle - but one we never tire of - when strict discipline borders on suppressing the human spirit.

The Film Movement DVD is interlaced (why?) but anamorphic in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. It has a blue-bias and is not pristinely sharp on the dual-layered disc. This may be the way King of Devil's Island looks - it is consistent and very clean. We get audio options that include a surround that sparks a few modest punches to the rear speakers - or a standard stereo - both in original Norwegian. There are optional English subtitles.

Supplements include some text-screen bios and the monthly pick is the 15-minute short film: BALE from 2009 by Al Mackay dealing with generational conflict.

Male relationships and power struggles are the cornerstone to most incarceration films. King of Devil's Island shares many of those themes. I liked it a lot and can see myself indulging again. Those keen may wish to indulge - you can get a lot of entertainment and education out of this 2-hour film based on true-life events.  

Gary W. Tooze


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Distribution Film Movement - Region 1 - NTSC

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