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'The East' Finds Balance Between Environmental Terrorism and Legally Holding Corporations Accountable

If only we could harness the idealism to prosecute corporate crimes against humanity.

The East pits environmental terrorism against the corporations that fully deserve the wrath their actions engender. Caught in the middle, Jane (Brit Marling) is a freelance intelligence officer for the private intelligence firm Hiller Brood and is eager to make her mark. Although her journey can’t help but blur the lines between the letter of the law that protects the powerful and those willing to mete out justice as they see it.

The East does so on behalf of victims who only have the limitations of due process on their side, and the off the grid organization means business from the start. “We want all those who are guilty to experience the terror of their crimes. Because it shouldn't be so easy to get away with murder. Lie to us…we'll lie to you. Spy on us...We'll spy on you. Poison our habitat......we'll poison yours. We are The East and this is just the beginning.We will counterattack three corporations,” states their slick youtube manifesto.

Against the opening backdrop, the novice seems dwarfed by a quaint home life, and the soulless intelligence firm that leaves no room for the grey area terrorist occupy with their cause. “We can extract our operative, liaise with the FBI and leave no trace. Gentlemen, we are in thirty-two countries, protecting your good names. Which is why it is essential very few have ever heard of ours,” Patricia Clarks puts a face on the shadowy conglomerate in the firm’s promo video.

Find out if Denoxin is Right for You

So Jane is off, and immersing herself among disposed strays in the counterculture, she is able to locate a member of the East and gain his trust. Her introduction to their encampment gives cause in anecdotal form. “Those side effects are listed on the side of the bottle. That's how they rape you,” the pseudo-doctor laments the ill effects Denoxin had on him and his complete lack of legal recourse.

Side effects

Sauce for the goose for sure but eating habits are not endearing as Jane gets to the next level. Each member bound in a straight jacket, they pick up the spoon with their mouths and serve the adjacent recipient.

Maybe corporate crimes aren’t so bad after all. They also play bizarro spin the bottle, dumpster dive and bathe each other in a nearby lake. Sorry, I still need my soothing TV regimen, Ramen Pride Noodles and steady stream of hot water.

Jane seems to come to the same conclusion. She makes her exit and is ready to call in the cavalry. But on the way out, she sees as depth and humanity in the leader (Alexander Skarsgård) as he tries to convinces her otherwise. 

Restraining Environmental Terrorism

Thus, Jane stays undercover in hopes of bringing restraint to the East’s upcoming “jam” against Denoxin. However Ellen Page will have none of it as the East’s hardcore anger and relentless pursuer of action - gray area having no place for her either.

At the same time, Jane sees how much the bottomline drives her employer’s motives. “They are not our clients,” Clark circumvents Jane from taking action against the East as lives are at stake.

This leaves Jane a mere body in motion as planetary forces are exerted on her interpretations of good and evil. So she hedges along as legal and societal consequences hover over her conscience and attempt to dictate an appropriate course of action.

As such, it would certainly be nice if the idealism of the East could be harnessed to incite change and hold the guilty accountable. Better yet, if only we could take in their commitment and make it part of our national consensus to tip the scales of justice within the confines of the law.

Sorry, we are way too comfortable to bring balance to the extremes so what chance does Jane have? She is pretty clever and this is a movie. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming - as long as you realize you have to wake up.

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'The East' Finds Balance Between Environmental Terrorism and Legally Holding Corporations Accountable
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