Night Moves is an eco-thriller telling the story of three young radical environmentalists coming together to execute the most intense protest of their lives: the explosion of a hydroelectric dam. In the northwestern state of Oregon the continuous creation of artificial lakes and reservoirs is causing deforestation and in the group’s eyes the dam represents the wastefulness of modern society.
The picture doesn’t explore the background and motivations of each of the three lead characters; it focuses on their troubled state of mind during the preparation, execution and aftermath of the attack. Their initial certainties slowly crumble when something goes wrong and the trust binding them comes home to roost.
Jesse Eisenberg (Josh), Dakota Fanning (Dena) and Peter Sarsgaard (Harmon) are perfect to depict these three young eco-terrorists who are driven to act without a full understanding of the consequences of what they are doing. Their introversion and sense of rebellion that keep their dream alive turns out to be without solid grounds.
Shot in digital to make the most of dark open-air locations, director Kelly Reichardt’s personal approach subtly brings you inside the story and all of a sudden you feel part of the gang. The idea for a script came to life while visiting some friends of frequent writing partner Jon Raymond, who live in an organic farm in Oregon. Inspired by their vision of life and Charles Burchfield’s paintings, the duo started to read about stories of groups like Weather Underground and Black Panthers that, despite having a legitimate aim, took their protest too far.
Another good movie from indie cult icon Reichardt, whose talent in representing the insecurities and indecisiveness of people is unique.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
Night Moves is released nationwide on 29th August 2014.