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Debate Gala

Official Secrets

Gavin Hood follows up Eye in the Sky with a sharp political thriller about a key moment in the history of the Iraq conflict.

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
UK Distribution Entertainment One

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.

Tricia Tuttle

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Gavin Hood, director; Ged Doherty, producer; Keira Knightley, cast; Katharine Gun, special guest; Martin Bright, special guest.

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.

Additional information

The screenings on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 October are accessible screenings for customers who are blind or partially-sighted. The film has an audio-description soundtrack, and headphones are available on request.

The screening on Friday 11 October is an accessible screening for customers who are D/deaf or hard or hearing. The film has English language subtitles, including descriptions of non-dialogue audio.

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