In the summer of 2009, when Zal Batmanglij and friend and co-writer/actress Brit Marling were penniless and lacking any prospects, they hopped trains and hung out with “anarchists”, personal experiences which are included in their film The East (2013). In this interview, they talk about that time and how it grew into a movie. Following the synopsis, see the interview with Brit and Alexander Skarsgard.

THE EAST, a suspenseful and provocative espionage thriller from acclaimed writer-director Zal Batmanglij and writer-actress Brit Marling, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and closed out the SXSW 2013 Film Festival. Marling stars as former FBI agent Sarah Moss who goes deep undercover to infiltrate The East, an elusive anarchist collective seeking revenge against major corporations guilty of covering up criminal activity. Determined, highly-trained and resourceful, Sarah soon ingratiates herself with the group, overcoming their initial suspicions and joining them on their next action or “jam.” But living closely with the intensely committed members of The East, Sarah finds herself torn between her two worlds as she starts to connect with anarchist Benji (Alexander Skarsgård) and the rest of the collective, and awakens to the moral contradictions of her personal life. Paul Salfen interviews Brit Marling and Alexander Skarsgard.

Note: This is a joint media production between AMFM Magazine and Paul Salfen of the Drew Pearson Show.


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