Take Shelter: Interview with Director Jeff Nichols

Sony Classics will release “Take Shelter,” which won major awards at Cannes and Sundance Film Fests,  in late Stpetmber, 2011

Anxiety is born out of having something to lose.  

 

When I began writing Take Shelter in the summer of 2008, I was in the middle of my first year of marriage. Although both my career and personal life were on a positive track, I had a nagging feeling that the world at large was heading for harder times. This free-floating anxiety was part economic, part just growing up, but it mainly came from the fact that I finally had things in my life that I didn’t want to lose. All of these feelings filtered directly into the characters of this film.

 

Take Shelter follows Curtis LaForche, a working class husband and father, as he deals with the panic that arises from a series of terrifying dreams. For Curtis, these dreams are either harbingers of a supernatural storm, or early symptoms of something he’s feared his entire life. Curtis’ strongest, most immediate reaction is to protect his family, his wife Samantha and their six-year-old daughter Hannah. The question for Curtis becomes, what is he protecting them from, the storm or himself?

 

I wrote Take Shelter because I believed there was a feeling out in the world that was palpable. It was an anxiety that was very real in my life, and I had the notion it was very real in the lives of other Americans as well as other people around the world. This film was a way for me to talk about that fear and that anxiety. I hope there is an answer to this feeling by the end of the film. I believe there is, and it’s the reason that this wonderful group of people came together to help me make Take Shelter.