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Røkeberg, M. (2012). Cinema, Containment, Catharsis and Reparation. Free Associations, 13(1):32-45.

(2012). Free Associations, 13(1):32-45

Re-Living the Crime

Cinema, Containment, Catharsis and Reparation

Marit Røkeberg

Nokas (2010) is a film based on the 2004 bank robbery in Stavanger, Norway, which traumatised the inhabitants due to its unprecedented violence and the killing of a local Police Lieutenant. One could easily argue that Norway has a distinct lack of the culture of suspicion so prevalent in western society in general. Consequently, when the robbers of the Norwegian bank ‘Norsk Kontantservice’ (Nokas) invaded the peaceful town of Stavanger with their machine guns and swat gear, the ensuing culture crash elicited a response of disbelief and denial from the locals. In the weeks and months that ensued the mythology surrounding the robbery and the perpetrators grew rapidly. In a bid to dispel these myths, the makers of Nokas meticulously recreated the events. Although initially met with public scepticism during pre production due to the difficult subject matter, the film became a box office success. This paper argues that Nokas is a good example of how the medium of film can provide an outlet for people to safely relive and overcome traumatic experiences.

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