On the cusp of the second world war, with Hitler stirring his power base and Stalin selling the idea of a communist utopia to the west, a young Welsh journalist takes the unfashionable stance that there is only one “truth”. Gareth Jones (James Norton), former adviser to prime minister Lloyd George, hustles a trip to Moscow with the intention of interviewing Stalin, but instead stumbles on the story of a man-made famine in Ukraine.
Twenty minutes have been cut from Agnieszka Holland’s fact-based drama since its premiere last year and the result is a stirring, at times vividly inventive piece of film-making that strikes a note of warning about the risks of fake news. Holland fills the Moscow cityscape with colour – skies of Soviet red and interiors decorated in a decadent palette of bourbon and naked flesh – then evokes icebound Ukraine in a stripped-down monochrome. A subplot about George Orwell is perhaps surplus to requirements, but otherwise the film is a striking, efficient political thriller.
Source: The Guardian