Official Secrets: What Does The Real Katharine Gun Think Of The Film?

Ema Smith

11/3/20232 min read

The true story of whistleblower Katharine Gun served as inspiration for the Keira Knightley movie "Official Secrets". What does the latter, however, think of the movie? 2020 saw their meeting.

Gavin Hood's film, Official Secrets, was released in 2020. It reverts to the actual account of Katharine Gun, a translator employed by the British intelligence organization Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

Prior to the US and British invasion of Iraq in 2003, Katharine Gun received an email from the US National Security Agency (NSA) asking for assistance from GCHQ in monitoring non-permanent members of the UN Security Council. Information gathering with the intention of applying pressure to vote in favor of war was the aim.

Startled by this demand, Katharine Gun decided to send the email to the media in an attempt to stop the Iraq War. The Observer newspaper made the correspondence public, sparking a political and media frenzy. As soon as it was determined that Katharine Gun was the leaker, she was detained and accused of breaking the Official Secrets Act. Eventually, all allegations against her were dismissed by the British government.

The movie looks at the moral conundrums that Katharine Gun encountered and the effects that her decision to come forward as a whistleblower had on her personally and professionally. It also emphasizes the contributions made by reporters Ed Vulliamy and Martin Bright, who worked on the story for The Observer. Matt Smith portrays Martin Bright, while Keira Knightley plays Katharine Gun.

Regarding Gavin Hood's film, what is Katharine Gun's opinion?

For the movie Official Secrets, Katharine Gun and journalists Ed Vulliamy and Martin Bright provided advice. In 2020, Katharine Gun discussed her thoughts on the movie and Keira Knightley's performance with us:

“It seemed weird to me. However, when I initially watched the movie, I approached it almost as a reviewer. Although I liked it, I forgot everything the second time I watched it. I was just living it, seeing Keira Knightley act, and I was totally engrossed in it. I wasn't even thinking about the scenarios. I was so attached to her that I started to think, "Oh my God, this is so bad for her."

Martin Bright, on his part, discussed the movie Official Secrets:

“You should be aware that, despite being as realistic as possible, the movie is still a drama. It moved me tremendously, I thought. Observing Katharine's predicament specifically was an incredible encounter.”

Katharine Gun currently splits her time between Turkey and England