Susan Sarandon, GabrielByrne, Christopher Plummer, Max von Sydow and Roy Dupuis have signed on asleads in Emotional Arithmeticfrom Montreal-based BBR Productions and Toronto's Triptych Media. Budgeted near$5.8m, the long-gestating project begins production in Quebec's Easterntownships in October.
Directed by Paolo Barzmanand adapted by Jefferson Lewis and Barzman from the eponymous book by Canadiannovelist Matt Cohen, the film reunites three inmates of Drancy, the Frenchtransit camp on the outskirts of Paris known as the "ante-chamber" of theHolocaust. Forty years later they connect in a bucolic Quebec setting.
Sarandon will play MelanieWinters, a child inmate in the camp, who balances her precarious emotionalstate with a sharp wit; Plummer plays her husband while Dupuis plays her son;Byrne will play Christopher Lewis, also a child inmate, now a Britishentomologist haunted by the survivor's question: 'why was I spared''; Von Sydowwill play Jakob Bronski, the protector of the two children in the camp, adissident who has also survived a Soviet psychiatric hospital. The 'emotionalarithmetic' of the title refers to the characters' struggle to face the pastand move on.
Triptych's Anna Stratton andSusan Girard of BBR are producers. Backers include Telefilm Canada, SODEC, theHarold Greenberg Fund, and tax credit schemes of Canada, Ontario and Quebec.Seville will distribute the film in Canada.