Frontiere(s) director Xavier Gens’ apocalyptic thriller The Divide gets a release today in Toronto and Winnipeg, the city in which it was filmed. Genre stalwart Michael Biehn (Aliens, The Terminator) stars as the caretaker of an apartment building who takes several residents into the building’s basement shelter when nuclear war devastates the outside world. But dwindling supplies and hope leads to a breakdown of both civility and civilization.

The DLB recently spoke to Gens from Morocco where he was filming a commercial.

Milto Ventimiglia in The Divide

The behaviour of the characters suggests that civilization is only skin deep, that it does not take much to push people over the edge. Do you believe that?

This theory, people have made experiment on it, and I really believe in that. As soon as you put people stuck together in something there is always somebody who wants to take over the other. It’s a bit what happened in fascist, in the Nazis, and it turns into a metaphor for the rise of the fascism because the character of Milo Ventimiglia and Michael Eklund become a couple of fascists into that basement.


The film’s violence is disturbing. How conscious are you in your films of making sure the violence is repulsive and not attractive?

Because of the real violence, when the violence is real, for me it was important to do violence in that direction and not and not the fun, gory violence, because the movie is not a comedy. For me it was interesting to push the violence to something very disturbing.


You had a bad experience working on Hitman which was a big-budget film. Do you now prefer working on smaller budget films where you have more control?

For sure, yes. It’s more interesting to work on a movie where you have comfort than on a movie where you don’t have comfort.


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