Movie in the off­ing

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ger their lives. Should Joan keep her phone on so she can stay in touch with her hus­band out­side, or will the light from the screen draw the gun­men’s at­ten­tion? Should she leave cover to get food for her hun­gry child or let him starve and risk him throw­ing a tantrum?

But the worst de­ci­sions she has to make in­volve the chil­dren of oth­ers. Through­out the night, she re­peat­edly encounters other peo­ple and must de­cide if she should help them and risk Lin­coln’s ex­po­sure or aban­don them to their fates.

“There is the idea, on the one hand, that moth­er­hood is in­cred­i­bly self­less, that your needs don’t mat­ter as much as this other per­son’s needs,” says Phillips.

“Yet, on the other hand, it is also self­ish – I take care of my child and if any­thing hap­pened to him, my life would be shat­tered. What do you owe to your own child and what do you owe some­one else’s?”

Movie rights for the book were picked up at the end of last year (be­fore the book’s pub­li­ca­tion last month) by Aus­tralian ac­tress Mar­got Rob­bie, who will co-pro­duce the film for Warner Bros through her Luck­yChap En­ter­tain­ment pro­duc­tion com­pany.

Phillips is ex­cited, but also feels some trep­i­da­tion. “It would be hard to see a story I feel per­son­ally about turn into some­thing I don’t recog­nise.”

With the spate of gun vi­o­lence in the United States, the fear of be­ing caught in a shoot­ing is “in the back of many peo­ple’s minds”, she says.

Slightly more than a year ago, on June 12, was the worst mass shoot­ing in the US’ mod­ern his­tory, when a gun­man stormed a gay night­club in Or­lando, Florida, killing 49 and in­jur­ing 58.

Less than a month ago, on June 30, a doc­tor was killed and six peo­ple in­jured af­ter a for­mer physician opened fire in­side a New York City hos­pi­tal.

Phillips’ own views on gun con­trol are that po­lit­i­cal la­bels have made con­sen­sus dif­fi­cult, but that more peo­ple are aligned in their views than they re­alise.

“Most peo­ple would ac­tu­ally be in favour of wait­ing pe­ri­ods, back­ground checks, and am­mu­ni­tion clips that limit the num­ber of bul­lets you can fire at a time or how quickly you can fire, which are some of the things that have made these at­tacks so hor­ri­ble.

“I think it’s ab­surd that we don’t have more laws in place. Not that that would solve the is­sue, but there are some things that seem ob­vi­ous, yet we can’t seem to agree on enough to make them hap­pen.

“Yet we go on through life. There’s no way to live your life if you are con­stantly afraid.” – The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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