Anisha explores The Lost City of Z

20th March, 2017

New biographical adventure The Lost City of Z, in cinemas 24 March, charts famous British explorer Percy Fawcett's attempts to locate a lost city, deep in the Amazon jungle. To celebrate the film's release, we sent reporter Anisha along to meet the film's stars and director.

Anisha spoke to actor Charlie Hunnam, who plays Percy Fawcett, about why he finds the character of Fawcett so inspiring, and about a particularly squirm-inducing encounter he had with a beetle while filming. Hunnam also shares a story about his co-star Tom Holland that Holland might wish he hadn't...

Sienna Miller, who plays Percy's wife Nina, reveals her own sense of adventure and who she thinks the modern frontier-pushers are, and reveals some of the crazy conspiracy theories that surround Fawcett's mysterious disappearance.

As the film's director, James Grey discusses why he decided to tell the story as a drama, rather than a documentary; the importance of showing all aspects of Fawcett's life, from his time in the war to his jungle expeditions; and the reality and challenges of filming deep in the jungle.

And since they portray characters who leave civilisation behind, Anisha decided to play a game of 'How civilised are you?' with the film's stars - with hilarious results! You'll never look at Charlie Hunnam or Sienna Miller the same way again...

"I really enjoyed today", said Anisha afterwards. "Percy proves that you can't be told what you can and can't do. I would consider myself to be an adventurous spirit that wants to see the world, and to see that the cast and crew are so passionate about that as well was great. My highlight was definitely laughing with Sienna Miller and both agreeing that her character was very strong with regards to her relation to the suffragette movement of the time. I enjoyed finding out the educational side to film, but I also enjoyed finding out personal facts about the stars. It was great!"

Watch Anisha's brilliant interviews, and be sure to read her great review of the film below.

Anisha reviews The Lost City of Z

As a British explorer, Percy Fawcett's fate was set for mystery at the moment the Royal Geographical Society introduced him to South America in 1906. His first expedition started with the task of mapping the border between Bolivia and Brazil as a member of an unbiased party, a period of time also aglow with the allure of the Amazon Rubber Boom. In the expeditions to follow, Percy, (portrayed by Charlie Hunnam) would fall in love with the landscape, its natives, and his final quest in 1925 to prove the existence of The Lost City of Z.
Inspired by the true story told in David Grann's novel 'A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon', director James Gray and cinematographer Darius Khondji work together again to create an incredible account of man's love for adventure. 'Adventure' though it may be, the film's representation of colonialism adopts Percy's perspective, a view that seems to prioritise 'discovering' as opposed to 'destroying'.
With a look to the film that suits both a historical period drama and an action movie, its engagement is brought to the audience with effect and impact: the shots know what they want to achieve and succeed in doing so. The context of pre-World War I Britain and the dangers of the Amazon introduce to us two different cinematic worlds; overturning the effect of juxtaposition and collaborating the visceral with the innate.
Sienna Miller does an incredible job in portraying Percy's wife, Nina Fawcett, an intelligent, faithful and withstanding woman with the suffragette movement resonating in her character. Robert Pattinson plays Percy's aide-de-camp, a character unlike any of his others and one that contributes towards the journey's feel of camaraderie, as does Tom Holland's portrayal of Percy's son, who introduces the beauty surrounding loyalty and paternal love.
From appreciating the 'mathematical precision' of the native's crops, to teaching us that 'nothing will happen to us that is not our destiny', 'The Lost City of Z' brings to life the words of Lord Alfred Tennyson: 'I cannot rest from travel: I will drink life to the lees... How dull it is to pause, to make an end, to rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use! As tho' to breathe were life!'

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