Movie Review: Official Secrets

Some of the best movies ever released, are those that are true stories that fill in the gaps in world history. The new movie “Official Secrets” is about what happened in early 2003, when the United States and England were collaborating to fabricate reasons to invade Iraq, that the world now realizes was an “illegal war”.

The reasons for invading Iraq in March 2003 were many, but the most prevalent was revenge for the 2001 Terrorist attacks that caused the worst civilian casualties on American soil in this history of the United States. However revenge for mass murder on American soil is not an valid and legal reason to invade another country. A massive and collaborative effort began with England and the United States to convince the UN security council that Iraq had to be invaded and Saddaam Hussein removed from power before he could use his destructive weapons.

The final solution to finding an excuse to invade Iraq, repeated many hundreds of times, was that “Iraq had weapons of mass destruction”. During a speech in front of the UN security Council Secretary of State Colin Powell, pleaded with the UN to allow the United States and England to invade Iraq because of weapons of mass destruction. Colin Powell now considers this one moment, the worst in his entire career, because Iraq never had any of the weapons Powell was talking about.

The story of Official Secrets starts with a government agent in England, Katharine Gun, played by Keira Knightley whose job was to scan emails and translate messages, looking for possible information that could be used by the spy agencies of England. A single email was scanned one day, that suggested that a reason to invade Iraq was being fabricated by both England and the United States. Rather than ignoring this message, Katherine, realizing that she could possibly stop an illegal war and prevent the deaths of thousands of people, decided to send this email message to the press. The story that followed was all about politics, and the difference between doing the right thing no matter what the cost, or just doing your job.

This movie does an excellent job of showing this low point in the history of both the United States and England, like no other movie I have seen about this embarrassing incident from the year 2003. The legal ramifications and politics involved were also very well portrayed and fascinating throughout the two hours.

The Rotten Tomatoes rating for Official Secrets is a very solid 80% and I agree with this rating and recommend this film.

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