The film is produced by Ridley and Tony Scott with Zat Batmanglij directing and who also co writing the script. Zat and Brit spent two months in 2009 joining an anarchist collective who lived on the food discarded by supermarkets and homes, to hop on trains and living on rooftops and they commenced to craft the film idea before they commenced their first film Sound of my Voice in 2011.
In this film shown currently on Sky there are two people working undercover, a journalist with a male partner who set out to investigate a cult which is led by Maggie played by Brit Marling who claims to be a time traveller from year 2054 in world which is even more riddled with struggle, famine and war and her mission is to choose individuals who will be help to cope more effectively than at present in countering the negative forces and interests in involved.
In addition to secrecy, the couple are blindfolded they are required to shed all their possessions, including clothing and to shower to avoid affecting Maggie who lives in a sterile environment and is depended on oxygen. The young woman has an imposing presence and without providing evidence of her claims begins to affect the scepticism of the investigative couple with thee man using the latest technology to film and record their experience. The couple do not live full time with the group and the man Peter works as a teacher at a school where there is a challenging nine year old who behaves in an eccentric way, never removing a head covering and once home spending hours in what appears to be pointless and obsessions constructions using building pieces.
Maggie then requires Peter to bring the girl to her who she claims will become her mother and Peter who has been ruthless in his approach to exposing the woman as a fraud appears to be considering the request, something which horrifies his partner who believes he wants Maggie and this is blinding him to the reality for her position and to the danger involved in the request.
The journalist insists Peter leaves her and is then approached by a woman who claims to be working for the Justice department and that there is evidence that Maggie far from being from the future is wanted in two other states because of acts of violence and criminality. This woman persuades the journalists to tell Peter to go ahead with Maggie’s request without revealing it will be a set up as he is to insist that Maggie comes to a pre agreed meeting place. When the film begins the undercover couple use a special handshake which has been taught to them something which is particular to Maggie. When she meets the girl the girl greets Maggie with the handshake and asks how the stranger knew what she had thought unique to her. Maggie who has persuaded the girl to remove her head covering says, “ you taught it to me”
The police arrive at this point and remove Maggie with other members of the group who had been opposed to her leaving sanctuary accusing the man fo betrayal. He looks at his former partner who indicates visualise her betrayal. The man says he will arrange for legal defence. I am uncertain how the film ends in the sense of what is the outcome which I understand is the intention.