VENICE, Italy, Sept 6, 2012 (AFP) – US actor and director Robert Redford said at the Venice film festival Thursday he sympathised with the cause of the former anti-war militant he portrays in his new thriller “The Company You Keep”.
The suspense-filled film follows a lawyer played by Redford who is outed after 30 years as a former member of the militant Weather Underground movement against the Vietnam war, and goes on the run from a bungling FBI.
Redford’s character, Nick Sloan, relies on a secretive network of former “Weathermen” who have stayed one step ahead of the law with old-school tactics and a loyalty to each other that has lasted through the decades.
“I sympathised with the cause. I thought the war was wrong. I thought they had every right to refuse to go to the war,” Redford said.
He added, however, that he did not condone the violence and could foresee that the movement would “ultimately turn in on itself”.
“When the event took place about the Weather Underground going to violence, I failed to make a film about that because I was too close to that. Thirty years later you can now tell that story,” the 76-year-old said.
He said he had spoken to the son of a real-life former Weatherman who lived on the run for five years, as part of his research for the film.
In a statement he added: “I’ve always been drawn to stories about America that dig under the surface and focus in on the grey areas.”
Sloan is outed by a brash young reporter played by Shia LaBeouf and part of the story is the interaction between the old and new generations.
“Bob’s generation, they had a gun put in their hands and told to go and shoot people. We’re not being asked to do the same thing,” LaBeouf said, referring to Redford.
“We’re just broke. It’s easier to be broke than to be asked to kill.”
(No Ratings Yet)