Conversation: The Making of Arbitrage
A Conversation with Nicholas Jarecki, Richard Gere and Nate
12.10.2012 - On Thursday ADFF's sixth
edition kicked off with the much-anticipated Arbitrage as
the Opening Night film. The feature-directorial debut of
award-winning writer and producer Nicholas Jarecki,
Arbitrage stars iconic actor and Richard Gere as a
ruthless corporate hedge-fund manager whose financial empire
unravels after the accidental death of his mistress. It's a
performance that critics are calling a new career highlight. Among
Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth and other luminaries, the film co-stars
Nate Parker, who was recently named by Variety as one of ten
up-and-coming actors to watch.
The next morning, ADFF's Special Events lineup for this year
opened in turn with a press conference and panel discussion on the
making of Arbitrage with Festival guests
Jarecki, Gere and Parker in attendance. Also present was Mohamed Al
Turki, producer of the film and no stranger to Gulf shores. Having
successfully bridged the gap between East and West, he promised a
unique experience to filmgoers in the UAE with this powerful
The stars were greeted with a warm reception at the event, which
took place in the Ballroom at Emirates Palace. Gere went out of his
way to thank everyone for their presence and further added that he
felt very welcome in Abu Dhabi. He also revealed that Abu Dhabi
would ideally be the next location he shoots in, with some
production in the pipeline already.
Speaking about the film, Jarecki explained the reasons that
drove him to write and direct a story that combines family drama,
corporate intrigue and crime thriller. The answer is surprisingly
existential. "Back in the day, people were experiencing a strong
prevalence of the class structure in society and its irrevocable
impact on the human psyche. These people then started to wonder
what they could do, and those decisions had consequences. This
complex web of ethos and reactions were paired with the ultimate
question: What does it really take to be someone?"
Gere further added to this saying "We used to make a lot of
these movies in the '70s and '80s that were intelligent and
character driven, and dealt with our times in our lives. In the end
it is not about the financial world, it is about our personal sense
of morality and how our decisions are not compartmentalized.
Everything we do resonates through everything else. It goes through
our business decisions; it goes through our family, through our
idea of how we relate to other people."
Parker, whose character plays a young man unexpectedly caught up
in the web of intrigue spun by Gere's Robert Miller, seconded this
view of interconnectedness, saying he appreciated the way Jarecki's
screenplay showed the financial crisis "affected people from every
part of society, whether rich, poor or middle class." To him the
film is about "relationships that don't have a name" - Miller is a
"father figure" to Parker's Jimmy Grant, despite their very
different backgrounds - showing the sometimes dark consequences of
each person's action on other humans.
For Gere this human touch made the film's social critique that
much more resident. "That's why I personally related to this
subject. It wasn't about the financial world; it's about how we
place ourselves in the universe."