donderdag 18 november 2010

My Life as a Spy: Storyville

Part of 1957 week. Leslie Woodhead takes a look back on his Cold War years when he spied on the Russians. Includes interviews with Alan Bennett and Michael Frayn. Some strong language.

Leslie Woodhead has been making documentaries since the early 1960s, and he is one of the masters of the British art of empiricism. How did he ever get so close to subjects as diverse as murderous Serbs, primitive African peoples and East German rock stars? Well, he gives you the answer in this film.

Growing up in Halifax Leslie loved to spy on people through the high window of his parents’ house that overlooked the market place. More important, he became a real spy of sorts - when he did his National Service he was inducted into a select group of people whose privilege it was to learn Russian and sit up late at night listening to meaningless messages from one young Soviet pilot to another.

Leslie’s film is a charming, ironic recollection of a lost portion of the Cold War - I’ll leave you to figure out the twists and turns of his story.

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