Wondering where Viggo Mortensen has been lately, and why you haven't seen him in anything since A History of Violence? He's been keeping a low profile with under the radar films that have been premiering at festivals before vanishing from view. When The Road is the biggest film he's done over the last five years you know he's made a concerted effort to stay out of the spotlight, and his new movie Far from Men probably won't be hitting the multiplex either.
The first trailer for Far from Men has been released ahead of its premieres at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals. Directed by David Oelhoffen and loosely based on Albert Camus' short story, The Guest, the film follows a schoolteacher escorting an accused murderer (Zero Dark Thirty's Reda Kateb) escape through the mountains during the Algerian War. The film seems to have many of the elements that make a great Western, and it probably doesn't hurt to have a score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, who brought the same to John Hillcoat's The Proposition some years back.
Here's the official synopsis: The year is 1954, the Algerian War is beginning, and village schoolteacher Daru (Viggo Mortensen, also appearing at the Festival in Jauja), who formerly served with the French army, is caught in the crossfire. Born in Algeria but Spanish by lineage, he’s a man out of time and place, perceived as alien by ethnic Algerians and their French colonizers alike. When Daru is ordered to escort a dissident named Mohamed (Reda Kateb, of Zero Dark Thirty and A Prophet) to a regional police garrison, he’s prompted to question where his loyalties truly lie. That inquiry becomes all the more pointed as rebels and soldiers begin to clash, forcing Daru and his captive to form a tenuous alliance as they flee through the treacherous, wintry Atlas mountains.