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Fox Searchlight Pictures
The East, a new thriller directed by relative newcomer Zal Batmanglij, follows an eco-terrorist collective that finds elaborate ways to punish CEOs and pharmaceutical companies for committing “worldwide terrorism.” The eco-terrorists, who call themselves The East, are infiltrated by Sarah Moss (played by Brit Marling), a former fed who works as an undercover operative for a private intel firm that looks out for rich polluters. A morally conflicted Sarah quickly comes to sympathize with East members including Izzy (Ellen Page), and grows increasingly attracted to their ringleader Benji (Alexander Skarsgård, of True Blood vamp fame). Bullets fly, sex in the woods occurs, and alliances are tested.
This political thriller is technically based on a true story. But the real-world inspiration for the script didn’t involve any shoot-out or corporate espionage; it started with a rather unusual summer road trip.
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"The East": How Two Filmmakers’ Freegan Summer Road Trip Became a New Political Thriller Starring a "True Blood" Vampire