directed by: Jeff Stanzler
starring: Robin Wright Penn, Abdel Kechiche, Sandra Oh
Bruce says: "The strangeness of this film’s title matches the tenor of the film. SORRY, HATERS is one of the most disturbing, unsettling films I’ve seen. With two sensational performances by Robin Wright Penn and Abdel Kechiche the film is likely to win awards if it is ever shown. The subjects of the film are terrorism, prejudice, fear and unhappiness in a post 9/11 world; and they are not subjects Westerners will be anxious to embrace, cinematically speaking.
"Robin Wright Penn withdraws as much money as an ATM will allow then climbs into an Off Duty cab and says 'drive uptown. I’ll tell you where I’m going later.' The taxi’s destination is Englewood, New Jersey, in front of a suburban home. She sits in the taxi for a while as a man and woman in the driveway move into the house; she alights, picks up a rock and scratches the side of a brand new Lexus.
"On the return trip Mohammed (Abdel Kechiche) asks if he can make a stop. The apartment is his brother and sister-in-law’s. Robin Wright Penn introduces herself to Mohammed and his sister-in-law when she barges into the apartment to use the bathroom. Her name is Phylly. Mohammed explains that is brother has been deported to Guantánamo while changing planes at JFK. Philly is horrified and wants to help.
"When she is asked what type of work she does she replies that she is program director at Q-Dog a TV station. 'We tell fat girls to kill themselves; kids to forget about college and get nose jobs and implants instead; teenage boys to rape young girls; and all people to spend as much as possible on things they don’t need so others can have less. Sorry, haters.' On the way downtown to contact a lawyer, Phylly is now sitting in the front of the cab. The West has seduced the East. This is the beginning of a true roller coaster ride. With great air of mystery and numerous bizarre plot twists the story move towards an absolutely unforgettable ending.
"Inspiration for the film came from an actual incident at JFK where a man arriving from Canada to switch planes was deported to Guantánamo with no charges. Jeff Stanzler wanted to make an American film which had an Arab man in the lead (no, Omar Sharif doesn’t count). He also had some other things he wanted to express, things that would be spoilers were they mentioned before anyone sees this film. My first instinct was to think that SORRY, HATERS is too off the wall to have a message. On rethinking that point I realize that Stanzler is extraordinarily unconventional. When Phylly says to Mohammed, 'You must really hate America, don’t you?' he replies gently 'No, I don’t.' Some Americans may be too anxious to put a face on their enemy. 4 cats
"SORRY, HATERS was shown at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival."