A dark comic thriller, the film revolves around a hapless government whistleblower and his partner who hide out in a remote Belgian cottage, accompanied by two eccentric bodyguards.
“‘Klokkenluider’ came out of a combination of circumstances. I was on holiday in East Flanders and the atmosphere of the house we were staying in set off some voices in my head. There were four characters and they were trapped there but it took me a while to work out who they were” Maskell told Variety.
“Around the same time I was feeling dismayed about public apathy regarding our privacy and vulnerability to unseen authority so soon after Edward Snowden’s revelations. His heroism and altruism and bravery seemed to have been wasted on the people he sacrificed his liberty for,” says Maskell.
“I was captivated by what he had done, in practical terms as much as ethically. His planning had to be surgically precise. I wondered what would happen to people with the same decency and motivations if they lacked his understanding of government security and surveillance capabilities. How would they behave? What kind of half-cocked plan might they, or I, come up with to get some closely guarded information into the public domain? What forces might converge to obstruct them?
‘Klokkenluider’ uses those questions as narrative premise but it’s not a work of naturalism or realism at all. It’s attempting to echo many truths at once and be funny,” adds Maskell.
The BFI London Film Festival runs Oct. 5-16.
Watch the clip here: