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‘The East’ Occupies Wall Street and Hotel Chantelle

Fox Searchlight’s “The East” takes on Wall Street, and at the May 20 premiere in Gotham, the cast and creatives were also unafraid of criticizing that bastion of greed gone wild.

“The whole idea behind the film is that corporations are above the law almost,” pic’s Alexander Skarsgard said at the Landmark Sunshine Cinemas. “It doesn’t matter if you are Democrat or Republican, everyone is frustrated with the political system and the lack of accountability and power.”

Brit Marling, who stars and cowrote the script with helmer Zal Batmanglij, recalled, “A week after we wrote the opening scene, the BP oil spill happened and two weeks before filming, Occupy Wall Street blew up. In a very lucky way, we had our finger on the pulse of something that people are feeling right now.”

Batmanglij said the cast and crew felt excited during filming about that emerging Occupy Wall Street movement.

“Civil disobedience is an important part of the experience,” said the helmer. “I would love to see some 35-year-old bankers being thrown out of their homes because I saw a poor 75-year-old woman being evicted out of her home, which was cruel and wrong.”

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Post-screening, guests traveled to the Hotel Chantelle’s rooftop, where pic’s Ellen Page said she didn’t totally sympathize with her anarchist character in the pic. “I understand her anger at corporate greed — profit before people and the widening gap between the rich and poor — but I don’t understand hurting people,” she said.

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