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Shooting On Location In Hamburg
The story of A MOST WANTED MAN is also the story of Hamburg itself. It is a wealthy, historic port city, which has long housed Europe's richest shipping magnates and whose shabbiest areas are now undergoing a period of genteel gentrification. For centuries it has welcomed immigrants, particularly from nearby Turkey and Northern Africa. But its role as the city in which the 9/11 terrorists constructed their diabolical plot out of sight of the intelligence authorities, has created a moral panic and distrust of strangers.

A MOST WANTED MAN is a story about fear. Who can we trust? Of whom should we be afraid? Is that dark-skinned man friend or foe? For the filmmakers, it was absolutely necessary to shoot the film on location in Hamburg.

"In the novel, all of the locations are so specifically described and accurate, obviously by someone who really knows the place," says Grunert. "It would have seemed weird to just move it somewhere else. We have made great use of the diversity of Hamburg: the harbour, the industrial side. The support from the city has been absolutely amazing, enabling us to use train lines, to shut down stations, shoot in the red-light district, close tunnels and use rooftops."

"Both Anton and BenoƮt have done a really good job of being flexible enough and very light on their feet," says Egan. "They have used a lot of hand-held cameras and whatever challenges have come their way, in terms of locations or passersby, they managed to solve within the day."

The experience of shooting in Hamburg was invaluable for the cast.

"Everything feeds into what you're doing," says Dafoe. "Even going out to dinner is a field trip for your character because you can imagine him being there. You can imagine him being around the corner because you feel him here because it's so Hamburg-written."

"It's been so great to hear the German dialect 24/7 and be steeped in the culture and the place itself," says McAdams. "That's the beauty of shooting where the film is taking place and not having to pretend. It's been a real advantage. Hamburg has a really specific feeling, being a port city. It's got an openness about it, with all the comings and goings that happen in a port town. It's quite liberal and there's so much culture and diversity and so many different types of people cohabiting and trying to live harmoniously."


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