On the second night of the East End Film Festival the London Premiere of The East came to the Hackney Picturehouse. Directed by Zal Batmanglij; The East is a socially conscience film that highlights some of the flaws in our contemporary way of life. The narrative follows Sarah (Brit Marling) an undercover agent for a private intelligence firm; that has been tasked with infiltrating the notorious East gang.
A group of eco-warriors lead by Benji (Alexander Skarsgard) who’s main objective is to repay heads of evil corporations – that inflicted terrible atrocities on the public, just to line their own pockets – by giving them a taste of their own medicine. Co-Written by Batmanglij and Marling; some of the scenes come from personal experiences the pair had in 2009, when they were both penniless and hanging out with anarchists.
This might be pure coincidence but I saw many similarity between the East group and Charles Manson’s group – even when we first meet Benji he resembles Manson – there’s no drug taking, but the self-sufficient lawlessness is still there. This film has some great performances from Marling and Skarsgard, also Juno’s Ellen Page and Rock n Rolla’s Toby Kebbell deserve a mention.
This thought provoking feature has all the hallmarks of a great spy movie, twisting and turning at every corner, nothing is as it appears. The ending is a bit predicable but the journey is well worth the admission fee. You will defiantly talking about this one long after you leave the cinema, and if your anything like me, you will be craving a bath also.