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Category Archives: Spies

Memoir of War

Memoir of War

In adapting the wartime diaries of Marguerite Duras, Emmanuel Finkiel captures the author’s oblique style, which filters events though a thick layer of ennui, and centers on women who deal with inflicted trauma by torturing themselves.

Santa & Andrés

Santa & Andrés

The Orwellian image of totalitarianism is bleak and urban, with thought police lurking around every corner. Sunny rural Cuba seems a world away, but in Carlos Lechuga’s delicate drama, ideological rigor has seeped into everyday life.

Casablanca

Casablanca

Casablanca is a sharply political movie, displaying overt admiration for anti-fascist activists and sympathy for refugees while subtly probing the corrosiveness of appeasement. Against the current rise of nationalism and xenophobia, the political climate that generations have taken as a backdrop for the romance of Ilsa Lund and Rick Blaine crashes to the forefront.

The People vs. Fritz Bauer

The People vs. Fritz Bauer

The title of the earnest biopic The People vs. Fritz Bauer implies a trial, but the only judgment against its postwar crusader comes from the court of public opinion. Frankfurt’s public prosecutor is depicted as a beleaguered old man conducting an unpopular mission to try former Nazi officials in the 1960s.

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies

Spoofing the Cold War mindset and the spy movies it spawned, French film OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies is a cinematic bon bon with a crunchy nut at its center. Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, aka Agent 117 in the Office of Strategic Services,