Belfast Telegraph

Gangster film 'relevant to today'

A new prohibition era gangster film starring Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf has parallels with today because it reflects a time of instability and insecurity, its director said.

John Hillcoat told a packed press conference at the Cannes Film Festival that Lawless, which also stars Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain and Jason Clarke, focuses on a time when serious organised crime began.

"I think we're in a time of a lot of instability and insecurity," he said. "There's a lot of parallels to today with the economic crisis, the political war on drugs."

He said that at one point the film, which was written and composed by Nick Cave, had a montage that started with what was happening with the Mexican cartels and rewound through the 80s, through heroin and cocaine, and landed on prohibition, where it all started.

Hillcoat added: "That was the start of serious organised crime and it's been going ever since. I think this sort of feeds into all the things that are going on today."

The film is based on the true story of the Bondurant Brothers, three bootlegging siblings who made a run for the American Dream in Virginia. It was inspired by true-life stories from author Matt Bondurant's family in his novel The Wettest County in the World.

Hardy, who plays Forrest, one of the three brothers, said he thought there was a good argument around legalising drugs but did not want to take a particular stand.

"I'm not sure about the drugs and alcohol stance, really. I wouldn't want to make a political stance."

He added with a smile: "Whatever floats your boat, just don't get caught."

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