Interview with Pete Postlethwaite

Q: You’ve just seen the film for the first time. What’s your reaction?

PP: Stunned. I think to pack that much information, detail and fact into a film that is exciting, moving, keeps you engaged all the way through is phenomenal. It’s an extraordinary achievement. I said to a guy over there I’ve just been talking to from Friends of the Earth in an interview with him. And I said, “Spielberg eat your heart out that first 10 minutes.” And he said to me that he’d been talking to Franny before she finished the film and said what’s it going to be like? She said, “It’s going to be like Spielberg on speed.” And we hadn’t made that connection. I thought the opening sequence is phenomenal, I think. It’s absolutely brilliant and it keeps you riveted all the way through. The way she ties up the stories towards the end.

The use of the archivist is a brilliant touch, because given the depth and the size of the facts that you’re looking at, somehow or other that human element, that person who is looking directly at you and is obviously affected by it himself is like a mirror to the audience and I think they need that. I think they look at it and go, “I agree with him.” I think, I found it very moving.

I think she’s done an extraordinary job with it. I think it was about 2000 when I started to get really involved with what was happening, personally and globally. I think it’s only in the last 2 or 3 years that I’ve really seriously thought we’ve got to do something about this. That’s why I had no hesitation when the call came through to do something like this. Although I must admit that I just thought it was just a voiceover to start with. I didn’t realize that it was onscreen as well. (laughs) But then you just go with that and you just go ok.

I think it’ll make people think. I think it’ll make people debate. I think it’ll freshen their memories if they don’t already know about what the hell’s going on. That’s all you can do. I don’t think it’s preachy in any way. It’s not polemic. It’s not actually saying nananananaa I think is strong and I think it’ll make people think. I think people will be moved by it. I hope they’ll be moved.