Keira Knightley leads a star-studded cast in this true story thriller about Katharine Gun, the British secret service whistleblower who tried to stop the Iraq war.
It’s 2003 and the US and the UK are awaiting the UN resolution that will justify their plans to invade Iraq. When British intelligence translator Katharine Gun receives an email outlining a plan to gather blackmail material that will secure the remaining swing votes on the UN Security Council, she decides to shine a light on her government’s corrupt operation. After The Observer breaks the story and an investigation into the leak puts her colleagues at risk, Katharine confesses and is arrested for breaking the Official Secrets Act, while her Kurdish refugee husband faces potential deportation.
Director Gavin Hood (Eye in the Sky and the Oscar-winning Tsotsi,) weaves in news footage from the time to underscore the deception and lies that led to the Iraq war. Keira Knightley’s impassioned performance is supported by an ensemble of standout British stage and screen actors including Matt Smith, Ralph Fiennes, Matthew Goode and Rhys Ifans. Hood was last seen at MIFF with his short film The Storekeeper, which won our Grand Prix; Official Secrets shows him at the top of his game.
“The story of Katharine Gun is one that’s often been overlooked and undervalued since the Iraq war and there’s immense satisfaction in seeing her bravery and selflessness heralded on the big screen.” – The Guardian