The East

The East is an uncomfortable little film; it reminded me of the (superior) Martha Marcy Mae Marlene, not quite in the same league, but interesting and creepy nonetheless.

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Brit Marling (who co-wrote the film) plays Sarah, a private security operative who goes underground to spy on an eco-terror group called The East. These guys live communally, completely off the grid, emerging only occasionally for the highly public and edge-of-deadly humiliation of big oil / chemical / pharma executives. So you’re dealing with the “will-she-won’t-she be unmasked”, and “will-they-won’t-they be uncovered”, and “will-they-won’t-they actually kill anyone” trifecta, played out amongst people we’ll never really understand. And thus the movie tracks Sarah’s gradual engagement with the group’s philosophy, if not their motives, and her increasing attachment to the group’s enigmatic leader (Alexander Skarsgard – so kind of understandable.) So, although it’s not a consistently brilliant film, it’s queasy-making throughout and well worth a watch. Set in DC, The East actually filmed in Shreveport, Louisiana.