An eccentric leader of a small religious commune clashes with the FBI in satirist film-maker Chris Morris's return to the big screen.
The Day Shall Come sees the British director focus on religious extremism in the US - a decade after he did the same for the UK in acclaimed comedy Four Lions.
Pitch Perfect star actress Anna Kendrick plays an FBI agent asked to pitch "the next 9/11" to her boss.
Keen to impress, she sets her sights on a religious sect in Miami before framing its eccentric leader as a grievous threat to national security.
Newcomer Marchant Davis plays Moses, the impoverished leader offered money to save his family from eviction. He has no idea his sponsor works for agent Kendra Glack (Kendrick) and plans to turn him into a terrorist by fuelling his madcap fantasies.
The film claims to be "based on 100 true stories" and expose "the dark farce at the heart of the homeland security project".
“The story that kicked off this film was like a brick hurled from Miami to London,” Morris said in a statement about the film. “It was a lie that I didn’t know was a lie and it resulted in a farce about paranoia, deception, delusion and injustice that reflects an unfortunate truth: Finding a real terrorist is harder than creating your own.”
He’s referring to the case of the Liberty City Seven which saw seven members of a small Miami-based religious group arrested and charged with terrorism-related offences in 2006 after a Federal Bureau of Investigation sting.
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“Two years later in Washington DC I met a witness from the resulting trial and discovered this terrifying coup would have been pulled off by seven construction workers riding into Chicago on horses,” explains Morris.
“The idea was a fantasy, spun to make money. They had no guns - and no horses. An FBI informant had offered them $50,000 to attack America. They were broke, so they riffed ideas until he was happy. They claimed they could knock over the Seers Tower, swamp the city with a tidal wave, and seize control by riding in like cavalry.”
“The government presented it as an Al Qaeda plot bigger than 9/11. These guys weren’t even Muslims, they were Haitian Catholics. It took three trials to find them guilty. They were all jailed as terrorists.”
Five of the seven men arrested were convicted and are currently serving sentences in American prisons.
“I discovered this was not a freakish one off,” he adds. “Since 9/11 it has become Standard Operating Procedure. Informants encourage a Person of Interest to break the law and when they do, the FBI arrest them.
“Each plan is put together with the federal attorney. Arrest is delayed until the case will play in court. So the conviction rate is 98%. The typical sentence is 25 years.”
eOne UK also shared the first poster for the film below.
It premiered at South By Southwest in March to generally positive reviews. The Guardian called it “a knotty, unlikely, humane farce”, while The Hollywood Reporter praised it for being “another leap forward for the satirist”.
Morris, 57, is best known for a string of darkly comic observational programmes including Brass Eye, Veep and Nathan Barley.
With reporting by PA
The Day Shall Come is in UK cinemas from Friday, 11 October.