Seattle International Film Festival presents...

Official Secrets

  • Saturday, June 1, 2019 6:00PM
  • Adult: $15.00
  • Senior: $14.00

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In the UK, the Official Secrets Act is the one that governs the protection of, and thus criminalizes the leakage of, national security information, and this film recounts the real-life story of one whistleblower who ran afoul of it. In 2003, as the U.S. is trying to drum up support for the Iraq War and getting Tony Blair’s Britain involved, Katharine Gun (Keira Knightley), an intelligence-agency translator, comes across a memo from America’s National Security Agency requesting British help bugging the offices of five nations on the U.N.’s Security Council in the hope of digging up dirt to coerce these five vital swing votes to vote yes on the U.N.’s resolution of support. The email’s leaked to a London paper, The Observer, where staff reporters debate whether to publish it; Gun is arrested; and, making matters personal, Gun’s Kurdish-refugee husband is now at greater risk of deportation. As you may recall, the war went on anyway as scheduled. Director Gavin Hood stirs in actual period news footage of Blair and GWB cheerleading for the invasion, plus plenty of familiar faces—Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Northam, “The Crown’s” Matthew Goode and Matt Smith—to support Knightley’s star turn and enrich his drama of bravery, conscience, and the conflict of loyalty to country vs. loyalty to humanity in a larger sense.

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SIFF’s mission is to create experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world. It is through the art of cinema that we foster a community that is more informed, aware, and alive.

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