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Zal Batmanglij

Sound Of My Voice * Zal Batmanglij (2011)

I read some good reviews of this film and the IMDb is 6.7 on. Too high in my opinion. I did not really like this film.

The IMDb listings of “mystery” and “sci-fi” are a bit too promising too. Other than that we are dealing with a person from the future, there is little “mystery” and this fact alone does not make the film “sci-fi”. As a matter of fact, the viewer is not even sure Maggie is from the future. This lady from the future founded a New Age cult into which two youngsters infiltrate in order to make a documentary.

The film is very New Agey with all kinds of strange group gatherings and a semi-spiritual message of Maggie. “The Sound Of My Voice” nowhere gets really interesting.

The East * Zal Batmanglij (2013)

Special agent Sarah infiltrates a radical group of environmental activists who attack public people who abuse the environment. The story is not uninteresting and for the most parts “The East” is a well-tensioned thriller, but on the long run, it is not a very good film in my eyes.

The director apparently felt the need to portray the group “The East” as some sort of sect. This results in too lenghty, superfluous, silly and rather boring New Agey scenes which take down the film substantially. The scenes in which the “jam”s are worked out and executed show the difficult relation between ideology and practice. This is worked out quite well, especially in the case of Sarah, who -of course- grows towards the group, but this is not enough to save the film. The social criticism of the film makes up some.