Turturro, Binoche & spies on the eve of 9/11
by Paolo Menzione
Almost five years after the tragedy, Venice remembers 9/11 today. Besides Oliver Stone’s large-scale World Trade Center, the festival is also presenting out-of-competition title A Few Days in September [+see also:
film profile], a European production by Argentina’s Santiago Amigorena, a renowned screenwriter in France making his directorial debut.
With an all-star cast that features French actresses Juliette Binoche and Sara Forrestier alongside John Turturro and Nick Nolte, the film is a countdown to September 11. "The choice to talk about September 11 was almost mandatory,” explained Amigorena, in Venice to present his film. “Cinema always has a political dimension. I began writing it in 2002, as a way to ignore something that big in that moment".
An espionage film, its plot involves the secret service, big-time stock exchange investors and two half-siblings (Forestier and Tom Riley), united for the first time, who share the same father (Nolte), a man who disappeared and is wanted by everyone for possessing vital information that could change the fate the world.
There are allusions to what audiences, but not the characters, already know about – the Al Qaeda attack on the US. Contacted by their father in early September, the two young protagonists race from one end of Europe to another, together with secret agent Irène Montano (Binoche), in an attempt to find their father, with a psychopathic killer (Turturro) on their trail.
The Italian-American actors gets all the lighter moments of the film, which is more of a psychological rather than action thriller (“It’s not very American”, said Binoche, citing this as the reason she chose to be in the debut film) and is full of more comical moments. I wanted to love Turturro, even if he is the bad guy in the film”, said the director, who infused the character with a humanity, creating a ruthless killer who nevertheless always feels compelled to confess the crimes he has committed or fouled up to his psychoanalyst. Added to the mix are quotes from various poems.
Produced by Paolo Branco’s Gemini Film, the film will be distributed theatrically in Portugal on September 6.
(Translated from Italian)