11/19/2023 07:30 pm – Murnau-Filmtheater

United States/United Kingdom 2022 101 min Original version
German premiere

by Steve James

Script: Tom Bergmann, DoP: Tom Bergmann, Editors: Alanna Schmelter, Pedro Urgiles, Music: Dawn Sutter Madell, Producers: Steve James, David Lindorff, Mark Mitten, Production: Kartemquin Films, Mitten Media, Participant, with: Joan Hall, Ted Hall, Joseph Albright
A COMPASSIONATE SPY tells about a brilliant nuclear physicist, a passionate leftist, and the explosive secret they kept over a remarkable 52-year marriage. Recruited in 1944 as an 18-year-old Harvard undergraduate to be the youngest physicist on the Manhattan Project to create a bomb before the Germans did, Ted Hall didn’t share his colleagues’ elation after the successful detonation of the world’s first atomic bomb. Increasingly concerned during 1944 – with Germany clearly losing the war – that a US post-war monopoly on such a powerful weapon could lead to nuclear catastrophe, he decided on passing key information about the bomb’s construction to the Soviet Union…

After the war, he met and married Joan, a fellow student with whom he shared a passion for classical music and socialist causes – and the explosive secret of his espionage: “Gripping” (Variety).

Steve James is an award-winning filmmaker whose career has spanned more than three decades. His most recent docuseries, CITY SO REAL, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to be named one of the best television shows of 2020 by many renowned media. With two of his films, he was nominated for an Oscar; furthermore he gained two News & Documentary Emmys for ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL and LIFE ITSELF.

Filmography (selection): 1994 HOOP DREAMS, 2011 THE INTERRUPTERS, 2014 LIFE ITSELF, 2016 ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL, 2020 CITY SO REAL (tv docu series), 2022 A COMPASSIONATE SPY

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