An overheard conversation leads a woman into a dark world of deadly intrigue in this political thriller. Silvia Broome (Nicole Kidman) is an African émigré who works as an interpreter at the United Nations. One of the languages she understands is Ku, a dialect spoken in her home country of Matobo. One day, as the General Assembly auditorium is being evacuated for a routine security sweep, Broome overhears a man speaking in Ku, who makes a cryptic statement that could be interpreted as a threat against the life of Zuwanie (Earl Cameron), Matobo's controversial ruler. Secret Service agent Tobin Keller (Sean Penn) is brought in to investigate Broome's story, and it isn't long before he's convinced that she knows more than she's willing to tell. As Keller and his partner, Dot Woods (Catherine Keener), dig deeper into Broome's story as well as her past, they discover a shocking tale of violence and corruption tied to Zuwanie's regime. The Interpreter was directed by Sydney Pollack, who also appears in a brief supporting role.
by Mark Deming synopsis