Based on an intriguing 1932 autobiography of R.H. Bruce Lockhart, who worked for the British Secret Service during the tumultuous days of the Russian Revolution in 1917. British-Hungarian actor Leslie Howard plays British agent Locke, whose main task is to prevent the Bolsheviks, led by Stalin, from signing a separate treaty with the Germans, embroiled in a war on two fronts. By chance Locke meets Elena, Lenin's attractive secretary and also a spy (played by the feisty Kay Francis) on the night of the first revolution, and they are both instantly smitten.
Michael Curtiz (born Manó Kaminer in Austro-Hungarian Budapest) wastes no time however on romantic shenanigans. Instead, his direction is balanced and fast-paced, presenting a suspenseful political drama that portrays convincingly the life of spies during times of historical upheaval. Quite unusually, British Agent shows an understanding of the ideologies on both sides.
Programme IFFR 2019
Spying as a way of filming, and the camera as an espionage tool. From more control to more confusion. Classics to contemporary highlights.Read more about this programme
Three stories of espionage in the Middle East, with images shot on a trip to Cairo in 2016, another to Tehran in 2008 and never-seen-before footage from Sana'a, Yemen. A love story and a suspense tale, mixed in with a dash of comedy and paranoia.
Impressive docudrama set in Korea about interrogation techniques used on prisoners. Was not allowed to be screened for 45 years.