Film Review: RED JOAN (UK 2018)

Festival Reviews

Red Joan Poster
The story of Joan Stanley, who was exposed as the KGB’s longest-serving British spy.


Trevor Nunn

RED JOAN (based on the real life Melita Norwood) is inspired by true events, but what is true and what is fictionalized are never made clear in the movie.  The fact allows the script by Lindsay Shapiro to take certain liberties with the story.  The romantic element is strengthened as well as the main character’s reasoning for her actions.  “No other atomic bombs have been dropped, have they?” Red Joan insists, implying her spying allowed two countries to be able to scare each other instead of using the bomb if only one country had one.  This again is a one-sided argument subject to debate.

The film opens in the year 2000 where an unsuspecting Joan Stanley…

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