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"Official Secrets" - Film Review

by Emilia Ippolito

Official Secrets, currently on general release in the UK, tells us the story of a British civil servant, Katherine Gun, who disclosed a highly confidential memo to the press - via a controversial anti war activist - asking British intelligence for support in convincing a few members of the UN Security Council to vote in favour of the war in Irak. Gun, turning from intelligence officer into a spy, but thinking merely in terms of human loss, was against the invasion - hence her troubled decision and choice of treason.

The narrative follows Gun’s gut behaviour and its consequences on lots of lives - including her husband, an Iraqi citizen on the deportation register.

Any further details would be a spoiler. Suffice to say that the starry cast includes Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Matt Smith (currently on stage in the West End), Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode and Tamsin Greig. Excellent acting, directed by Gavin Hood : we felt that the narrative could have offered more, but can imagine more than a few ‘diplomatic’ restrictions dictated by the controversial topic and probably imposed on Gregory and Sara Bernstein - both versatile screenwriters- along with Hood.
I would definitely recommend.



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