My location via GPS

Red Joan

85-year old Joan Stanley (Judi Dench) enjoys retirement in a peaceful London suburb when the MI5 knocks on her door. It turns out, the old lady used to work as a spy for Russia. Based on the real life story of Melita Norwood.


RED JOAN is based on the life of Melita Norwood who was revealed to be the oldest working British spy for the KGB. 85 year old Joan Stanley (Judi Dench) spends her twilight years in a peaceful London suburb. A completely normal, inconspicuous retired woman, so it seems. She loves her gardening and her regular watercolor classes. But one day the British secret service knocks on the retired scientist‘s door. She is taken away in handcuffs in front of all of her curious neighbors. During the interrogation she refuses to reveal her best-kept secret. But a look back on her youth slowly reveals what she has been hiding for decades. Cambridge, 1938. Joan (Sophie Cookson), a young physics students, meets eloquent Russian communist Leo (Tom Hughes) on campus. She meets him through brilliant fellow student Sonya (Tereza Sbroza), who is very politically engaged, She soon falls in love with the young man, who changes her worldview. During World War II Joan works in a secret nuclear research plant. She is practically invisible to the male squad there. At the same time the talented scientist realizes that the world is about to be destroyed. The key event: the nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After that it seems unbearable to her to go on like she did before.

Similar to the historical drama HIDDEN FIGURES, that looked at the back rooms of NASA during the Cold War, RED JOAN is about male ignorance and the fight for equality. Ironically, the resistance and stereotyping gave her more leeway. The repressive gender relations became her secret weapon. As Sonya in the film says: “we are women. No one believes we could do that.“

Luitgard Koch

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: Red Joan
Großbritannien 2018, 110 min
Language: English
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director: Trevor Nunn
Author: Lindsay Shapero
DOP: Zac Nicholson
Montage: Kristina Hetherington
Music: George Fenton
Distributor: Entertainment One
Cast: Judi Dench, Sophie Cookson, Stephen Campbell Moore, Tom Hughes
FSK: 6
Release: 04.07.2019


Die Inhalte dieser Webseite dürfen nicht gehandelt oder weitergegeben werden. Jede Vervielfältigung, Veröffentlichung oder andere Nutzung dieser Inhalte ist verboten, soweit die INDIEKINO BERLIN UG (haftungsbeschränkt) nicht ausdrücklich schriftlich ihr Einverständnis erklärt hat.