SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE
Focusing on the looming issues of terror and politics, the Gold Coast Film Festival’s premiere of Event Zero hits close to home. Sally Coates talks to writer and director Enzo Tedeschi
Can you start by giving us a preview of Event Zero’s plot? The inciting moment is a train derailment in the city’s subway that we come to learn has a biological attack agent to it. Immediately everyone assumes it must be a terrorist attack. The story follows Layla. Her father has been implicated as an easy target because he’s a visibly Muslim man who was on the train and he was unaffected. From there it catapults into a social political thriller. What were you trying to achieve with this film? It’s an illustration of how some of these political agendas could be manipulated if someone wanted to do it. If someone wanted to do this it would probably be a lot easier than we expect. Conversation and discussion. At the end of the day it’s entertainment, it’s not a documentary, but it’s probably going to hit close to home. Did you worry it would hit too close for comfort? We started writing this close to two years ago and the world has changed a lot in two years. What we thought was outlandish or extreme, doesn’t seem that outlandish anymore. Some of the things that happen seem like they could be plucked directly from our script. It’s a scary thought. When I got to the set I felt a lot of pressure to get it right. It was interesting when we started, but when we got to the end it seemed important. Where did the idea for the attack come from? It was a sarin gas attack on a Tokyo subway – it wasn’t a Muslim terrorist attack, it was a totally different agenda. It was less politically charged and it actually turned out it was a cult movement. We’ve essentially rebooted that event and made it larger in scale. What message do you want people to take away from the film? Hopefully, the consideration of how some of the stuff that’s going on can be misused, abused, misunderstood, manipulated. Sometimes things on the news are exactly what they seem, but sometimes they’re not. If we don’t apply a little critical thinking it’s easy to miss what’s going on. How does Event Zero fit in with other films that focus on terrorism ... Zero Dark Thirty or American Sniper? Did they influence you? There’s a great Netflix documentary on black imprisonment in America. I think it’s more about that angle for me rather than being terrorism related. Even documentaries on the Cronulla riots. I looked more into stuff I felt would fuel the story, not so much the terrorism. Those films have their place and they are about bringing down really awful, violent people. I thought let’s look at another angle. If the government were to manipulate the idea of a terrorist attack to suit their own ends, what would that look like? Event Zero premiere, Sunday 7pm, The Arts Centre. Admission $15.