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Official Secrets

Keira Knightley plays whistleblower Katharine Gun, who unveils the attempt of the British secret service to push the Iraq War.

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16 years after 27-year-old Katherin Gun was about to prevent the illegal invasion of Iraq by US and British forces, Gavin Hood‘s spy thriller OFFICIAL SECRETS portrays what happened to the whistleblower. Gun leaked the memo of a high-ranking NSA agent to the press, wherein this official asked the US and British secret services to gather incriminating material about members of the UN Security Council in order to blackmail them into voting for the invasion. A clear violation of the Geneva Convention. Shortly after it was released, Gun admitted to being the whisleblower during the internal investigation. She was arrested, but was only indicted for violating the “Official Secrets Act“ eight months later. Gun‘s brave act has been almost forgotten today, a footnote in the face of greater crimes committed by the Bush and Blair governments and the catastrophic consequences of the war. Keira Knightly as Gun focuses on the uncertainty and fear that Gun must have felt during the government‘s intimidation attempts. Gun‘s calm, smart, poised heroism in some verified quotes seem somewhat surprising because of it. When a policeman asks: “You work for the British government?“ Gun answers: “No, I work for the British population. I don‘t gather information so that the government can lie to the British population.“ OFFICIAL SECRETS is less flashy than Oliver Stone‘s SNOWDEN. The film is in the tradition of the classic British spy film and works because of its careful, fact-based narrative. An excellent, moral, political film.

Tom Dorow (INDIEKINO MAGAZIN)

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

USA/Großbritannien 2019, 112 min
Language: English
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director: Gavin Hood
Author: Sara Bernstein, Gregory Bernstein, Gavin Hood
DOP: Florian Hoffmeister
Montage: Megan Gill
Music: Paul Hepker, Mark Kilian
Distributor: eOne
Cast: Keira Knightley, Matt Smith, Matthew Goode, Adam Bakri, Rhys Ifans
FSK: 6
Release: 21.11.2019

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