Sun 13 Oct

Official Secrets

Cert. tbc

Festivals & Series

63rd BFI London Film Festival


UK-USA | 2019 | Dir Gavin Hood | Prod Ged Doherty, Elizabeth Fowler, Melissa Shiyu Zuo | Scr Gavin Hood, Sara Bernstein, Gregory Bernstein | With Keira Knightley, Matt Smith, Ralph Fiennes, Matthew Goode, Rhys Ifans

As a government employee or contractor, is it ever right to leak state secrets? And when should an individual decide if this is in the national interest? These are the almost impossibly weighty questions faced by the subject of Gavin Hood’s Official Secrets, a political drama about Katharine Gun, an ordinary government contract worker faced with an extraordinary choice. In 2003, on the eve of the UK-US invasion of Iraq, Gun intercepted communications that revealed the UK was being asked to spy on UN Security Council Members to help influence votes sanctioning the invasion of Iraq. Knowing full well her legal responsibilities as an employee, Gun weighed up her duty as one trusted with national security, but also the risks to her own family’s security (her husband was a Muslim immigrant awaiting permanent residency status) and decided she must release this information for the national good. Keira Knightley gives an excellent performance as Gun – bringing both a refreshing lack of self-consciousness and an urgency to the role – alongside a strong ensemble that includes Matt Smith and Ralph Fiennes.

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