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An Image from the Future: A Review of “The East”

15 May
The East playing a little game of "spin the bottle."

The East playing a little game of “spin the bottle.”

[Warning: Spoiler Alert]

By Scott Parkin/ Earth First! Newswire

True Blood’s Eric Northman and Juno lead a state-smashing anarchist collective seeking justice against corporate crime lords?

All I can say is “where do I sign up?”

True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgard and Ellen Page star in director Zal Batmanglij’s new film “The East.” It’s a provocative new film trying to undermine the usual parade of boring formulaic summer crapola and start a conversation in the wake of popular movement frenzy from Occupy Wall Street to the Tar Sands Blockade. I saw it at a special screening in Berkeley with Batmanglij doing a question and answer at the end of movie for a rowdy crowd of  lefties.

I love movies and I love anarchists. So the tale that Batmanglij and co-writer (and the film’s lead) Brit Marling weaves is one part love story, one part espionage thriller and all anarchy. They tell the story of undercover corporate spy and ex-FBI agent Sarah Moss tasked with infiltrating an anarchist group, “the East,” wanted for executing covert attacks upon major corporations. Shot in an amazing 27 days in Baton Rouge, the film delves into questions around justice, violence, community, commitment, and ultimately…which side are you on?

Batmanglij and Marling spent the summer of 2009 traveling through the North American anarchist scene researching the film. As a loud and proud anarchist, two months is enough to get a tone and feel for our world, but not enough to really understand the politics or the participants in it.

Here’s a couple of things that stood out to me. Continue reading