This movie was only on my radar because it is a recent Netflix original and we are trying to make a point of watching all of those. From the brief description online I learned that it is based on a true story, but that story was not something I ever remember hearing about in the news.
22 July is based on the events on July 22, 2011 in Norway. At that time I was just starting work at my first church as an associate pastor, and I think I was pretty plugged in to world events. And yet, I never heard about this huge and traumatic event. A terrorist attack took place on this day, both in the city center of Oslo, Norway, and about 60 km away at a summer camp for youth. The movie follows the events of that day and the aftermath for many of the people involved.
This movie was well written, well acted, and well directed. It pulled me in from the first moment and had me holding my breath at times along the way. I felt connected to the characters and found myself really affected by their grief and anguish. There were some gorgeous shots of Norwegian scenery, which at times emphasized the coldness and isolation of some of the characters in their trauma after the event.
Fair warning, this is a tough movie to watch. Don't turn it on some idle evening hoping for an interesting story to pass the time. It is definitely worth watching, just know that it is about a terrorist attack that is to Norway what 9/11 is to Americans. You should be prepared for it to be tough emotionally, mentally and spiritually. With that in mind, I hope you do watch it, it is well worth your time.