SXSW 2013 Review: THE EAST

By Renee’ Collins

Rating: 4 (Out of 5 Reels)

Sarah Moss (Brit 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 (SXSW).

I found this film to be extremely powerful.  On the one hand I would expect private intelligence firms to protect whoever hires them but on the other what these corporations are doing to the public in general is horrific.  The anarchist collective makes it their job to expose the owners of the corporations hurting the environment and people to pay for their crimes, personally. 

The acting in this film is superb and I especially enjoyed watching Alexander Skarsgard as Benji, the anarchist group leader, Brit Marling as Sarah, the undercover agent and Ellen Page as Izzy, member of the anarchist group.  I have seen all of these actors in other roles and look forward to seeing more of their acting in the future.

All in all, this film is extremely well made and acted.  It makes the viewer think about this work of fiction and what is happening in the real world because they are probably very similar unfortunately.  I would recommend this film to anyone wanting to explore such an important moral issue.

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