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‘The East’ Filmmakers Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij: How to Put One Foot In Front of the Other

brit 2Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij left a positive impression on me a few years ago at South by Southwest. Not only with Sound of My Voice, their first full-length feature film together, but also in person during the brief time I spent sitting down with them. That is a movie that raises quite a few questions, and it was obvious they had every possible answer to these questions in mind. Both on screen and off, the two filmmakers displayed between them a clear confidence and shared interests. With their second collaboration, ”the eco-terrorist” thriller The East, the two came to town for a press day near their old stomping ground, Georgetown University. Marling and Batmanglij met for the first time there, and it was fitting interviewing them close to the campus after having discussed their college and city experience a few years ago in Austin. Despite having found a nice little home with Fox Searchlight and having more money to work with now, the duo remain the same, sharing a similar interest in certain themes and the type of stories they want to tell. Here’s what The East co-writer/star Brit Marling and co-writer/director Zal Batmanaglij had to say about their latest film and their collaborative process: Structurally, both Sound of My Voice and The East are fairly similar in how they follow characters who infiltrate a group and get more involved than they expected. Was that connection between the two intentional? Batmanglij: I think they’re sister films. We wrote this movie before we made Sound of My Voice. They’re ideas that were