April 6th, 1917. As a regiment assembles to wage war deep in enemy territory, two soldiers are assigned to race against time and deliver a message that will stop 1,600 men from walking straight into a deadly trap.
Consummate con man Roy Courtnay has set his sights on his latest mark: the recently widowed Betty McLeish, worth millions. But this time, what should have been a simple swindle escalates into a cat-and-mouse game with the ultimate stakes.
A morality tale for the 21st century, Official Secrets tells the true story of British Intelligence whistle-blower Katharine Gun who, during the immediate run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion, leaked a top secret NSA memo exposing a joint US-UK illegal spying operation against members of the UN Security Council. The memo proposed blackmailing smaller, undecided member states into voting for war. At great personal and professional risk, journalist Martin Bright published the leaked document in The Observer newspaper in London, and the story made headlines around the world. Members of the Security Council were outraged and any chance of a UN resolution in favour of war collapsed. But within days, Bush declared he no longer needed UN backing and invaded anyway. As Iraq descended into chaos, Katharine was arrested and charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act. Martin faced potential charges too. Their legal battles exposed the highest levels of government in both London and Washington ...
This is the second time Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes have starred alongside each other, the first being in The Duchess (2008) See more »
When Catherine was arrested she was taken to a local police station in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, which was staffed by police wearing Metropolitan Police uniforms (ie from London). The local police are Gloucestershire Constabulary. See more »
Clerk of the Court:
Katharine Teresa Gun, you are charged with an offense contrary to section 1, subsection 1, of the Official Secrets Act of 1989, in that you did knowingly and intentionally disclose top-secret intelligence information contrary to the said act. How do you plead? Guilty or not guilty?
See more »
This film is based on a true story of a woman working for the British government who leaked a document to the press so that the Iraqui war might not happen. In case you've forgotten, that war was started under the false premise that Iraq had "weapons of mass destruction" and they were planning to use them with anti-western forces top launch attacks. Both allegations were blatant lies, trumped up by the Bush administration, but at the time, many people believed them and in fact, the US and the Brits went to war with hundreds of thousands of casualties.
The film is slow paced but the acting is excellent, especially from Ralph Fiennes who seems to utterly disappear into his roles. It's a case study of someone being willing to stand up for what she believes regardless of the consequences. There are precious few people like this, so every film that chronicles their struggle deserves to be seen.
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