Director Paul Greengrass is deeply troubled by the rise of far-right politics


Paul Greengrass, the prolific director of films like “Captain Phillips” and “United 93,” is not shy about calling out the dangers of rising populist politics in Europe and the United States.

Greengrass joined “Salon Talks” earlier this month to discuss his new Netflix film “22 July,” which tells the story of Norway’s most horrific terror attack that left 77 dead in 2011 at the hands of right-wing extremist Anders Breivik.

When talking about the film, Greengrass denounced current right-wing extremism. The Academy Award-nominated director explained, “Young people in large numbers are being drawn to alternatives. Some of which lie within democratic norms but towards the right-hand edge, but some of which, for sure, lie well outside.”

The fear of ideologies like Breivik’s invading the mainstream is what drove Greengrass to make “22 July.” “These arguments that he articulated, and we show in the film, that he used in his trial, and were on the margins in 2012, now are in the mainstream,” Greengrass said.

“22 July” is based on the non-fiction book "One of Us" by Åsne Seierstad, and highlights the dangers of far-right ideologies. Greengrass say he felt it was important to tell such a chilling story of real-life tragedy, as his body of work in the past has shown.

Greengrass emphasized the importance of shedding light on shifting global politics. “This narrative of betrayal and rage is driving everything before it in our democracies and that is very, very troubling.”

Watch the video above to hear Greengrass explain why he says no populist politician would technically disagree with some of Breivik’s ideologies. And check out the full interview for Greengrass’ take on former White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon.

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