Screenwriter Steven Knight’s (Eastern Promises, Dirty Pretty Things) new film Closed Circuit explores the issue of government surveillance. The film seems ripped from today’s headlines and below Knight delves into the way he approached the story and how his personal stance on surveillance tactics is examined in the film. Closed Circuit, starring Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall, and Julia Stiles is currently playing in theaters. Check out a gallery of exclusive stills from the new film above.
I never set out to write a script that is ‘topical’. I write about what worries me and, hopefully, things worry me a little bit earlier than they do some other people, purely because I am a writer and it is my job to go out there and be worried by things.
I live in London and it’s a city with a lot of worries on its mind.
Dirty Pretty Things came about because I used to spend a lot of time in unlicensed mini cabs (more available than the licensed ones back then) and I spoke with a lot of drivers from all over the world (mostly Africa) who were doctors or lawyers etc and who were forced to make their living driving cabs. This was a time when London needed doctors… didn’t so much need cab drivers.
The stories the drivers told gave me an insight into a city that existed in parallel to the one I knew. It was precarious, dangerous, lawless. It worried me that I knew so little so I began to research. It was around this time that the whole issue of illegal migration became a hot topic and I suppose the movie rode a wave. (Eastern Promises came from the same period of research, since organised crime and desperate displaced people always have a habit of finding each other).
Closed Circuit came about as a result of a different worry.
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