• Emma Teresa Redlefsen Sønnichsen
4. term, Danish, Master (Master Programme)
The terror attack on Utøya 22 July 2011 is one of the most tragic incidents in modern Scan-dinavia. Anders Behring Breivik murdered 69 young political activists on the island of Utøya. This difficult heritage has caused a national scar in Norway, which is still under processing. Debates occurred about treatment and portraying of the attack in a proper ethical manner. Different medias have tried to address the tragedy, but it took seven years until the first three movies about Utøya were released in 2018. The three movies, Rekonstruktion Utøya, 22 July and Utøya 22. juli, were respectively instructed by Swedish Carl Javér, American Paul Greengrass and Norwegian Erik Poppe, and had different approaches to address this diffi-cult heritage. This master thesis studies how the dramatic documentary Rekonstruktion Utøya includes reconstructions to portray the tragedy in Norway, and which potentials lies in the special documentary form in relation to generate affects and to treat the vulnerable in a difficult heritage. These topics will be analysed and discussed compared to the two docu-dramas 22 July and Utøya 22. juli.
This thesis applies a methodology that merges a documentary analysis with theories of reenactment, affect and difficult heritage. This methodology enables this thesis to illus-trate how reenactments in a dramatic documentary generate affective engagement, in which the survivors confront themselves with the difficult heritage. Theories by Bill Nichols, Carl Plantinga and Ib Bondebjerg are applied to analyse the staging of the depicted reality in Rekonstruktion Utøya and compared to 22 July and Utøya 22. juli. Theory by Bill Nichols is ap-plied to analyse how the reenacted event introduces a fantasmatic element and how it fulfils an affective function. To analyse the generated affective engagements in the movies, Brian Massumi’s, Teresa Brennan’s and Sara Ahmed’s affect theories are applied. To illustrate the Utøya attack as a difficult heritage, theories by Amy Macdonald, Britta Timm Knudsen and Jan Ifversen are applied to the analyses of the three movies. Based on the analyses of this thesis, several conclusions can be drawn.
The reenactments in 22 July and Utøya 22. juli generate Breivik as the sticking object of disgust, and the young political activists are portrayed as victims, which is a continuation of the prior discourse. In Rekonstruktion Utøya it is clear that the reenactments provide the survivors with the experience of an agency in the shaping of history. Reenacted events of a difficult heritage can generate and assemble new sympathies, collectives and movements in the present. By sticking the affect of disgust to Breivik, the survivors generate a community that united recoils from the disgusting object. This enables the survivors to create a counter-narrative where they achieve mastery of their own history.

Publication date3 Jun 2019
ID: 304973251