Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling’s latest collaboration, eco-thriller The East premiered at Sundance last night to a warm reception. Produced by Fox Searchlight with Marling, Alexander Skarsgard, and Ellen Page leading the cast, the film explores similar themes as the previous Sound of My Voice, with questions of identity, the allure of charismatic leaders, and a sense of well-nuanced thrill. Batmanglij has a knack for exploring the questions of our age with a mystical sense that at once heightens reality and reminds us of our basic human desires. And in The East:
Sarah Moss (Marling) is a brilliant operative for an elite private intelligence firm whose top objective is to ruthlessly protect the interests of their A-list corporate clientele. She is assigned to go undercover to infiltrate an anarchist collective known for executing covert attacks upon major corporations. Living amongst them in an effort to get closer to their members, Sarah finds herself unexpectedly torn between two worlds as she starts to fall in love with the group’s charismatic leader, finding her life and her priorities irrevocably changed.
Check out the trailer below, which looks pretty damn haunting and incredible.
Here’s the cast and Batmanglij at Sundance this past weekend.