Gabriel Byrne and Liya Kebede are two of the stars of Costa-Gavras's film "Capital."
A surprised and appreciative capacity audience greeted the filmmaker Costa-Gavras as he introduced his film "Capital" at a Friday afternoon screeing in East Hampton. Although the festival had little advance notice, they were able to put together a brief clip reel of the director's films such as "Z," "Missing," "Betrayed," "State of Siege," and "Amen" and interview him about his previous work and the current movie.
Although he acknowledged what many have stated in that "all films are political," the director said he doesn't intend his films to be about politics. "I make films about human beings," he said. "Capital" or "Le Capital" in French is about a sideline player in a mulitnationl bank who becomes CEO in a power move by the executives and invested interests who run the place. It is immediately apparent that they have elevated no mere puppet as their protege and no one is happy, including him, as the plot thickens.
Costa-Gavras, who was born in Greece but lives in France, said that once he made films about wars, but the new world power is now in money. "War had migrated to the economics arena. . . it is more powerful than political power."
He said he wanted to make a film showing how money can change people. "It's not about business but about money in banking."
He his films to be as realistic and accurate as possible. He read a lot of books on economics and talked to bankers. "They are very sympathetic, They have lot of culture and know a lot of languages. They all know each other around the world. I don' t think they like each other, but they get together for the same reason: to have more and more money."
He's taken the movie around the world to several festivals and those from the financial sector have reacted to it. "Nobody said it was fake," he said, but they did say "your numbers are a bit low." For instance, the salary of the CEO in the movie is only $2 million.
"At the end of the movie you are going to be upset," he said. Friday was the only planned screening at the festival. The film was released in France in 2012 and shown at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June.