Official Secrets tells the story of British whistleblower Katherine Gun (Keira Knightley) who leaked information about illegal government activities before the Iraq war. Her efforts didn’t prevent the war, but perhaps the film can instruct future whistleblowers in how to get it right.
The trailer is mostly a lot of famous British men yelling at Katherine Gun. One of the first scenes is her watching Tony Blair on the TV, telling his image, “Just because you’re Prime Minster, it doesn’t mean you get to make up your own facts!”
That remark ties the story into the current situation in the U.S., where facts are always the issue. We see glimpses of both Tony Blair and George W. Bush as the two of them pressured various countries into voting for a UN mandate that would justify a war against Saddam Hussein. Our leaders have lied us into many a war – The Gulf of Tonkin lie comes to mind for my generation.
Matt Smith, Matthew Goode, Rhys Ifans, Adam Bakri, and Ralph Fiennes are also featured. Bakri plays Katherine Gun’s husband who was a Turkish refugee in England.
The war in Iraq happened, in spite of Gun’s revelations of the truth. But perhaps there’s something to be learned here in regard to potential future wars. If a man had made the same revelations, would the results have been different? If Gun hadn’t been married to a brown-skinned man, would the results have been different?
We live in an era when the press reports lies without clarification and the President screams about “fake news” when the press reports the truth. Incendiary secrets are everywhere. Will we learn them? Will we heed them?
Official Secrets will be in theaters August 23, 2019.