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“Official Secrets” movie review

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This widely acclaimed movie, with an IMDb rating of 7.3 and a Tomatometer of 82%, can be reviewed from various points of views. However, this brief review only addresses some aspects of its relevance to medical students.

It is important that the future doctors and health leaders and advocates develop a deep sense of critical thinking, a warm streak of humaneness and a robust trait of morality. Our scientific and unbiased thinking style is based on our ability to be constructively critical; our emotional warmth is fuelled by our humaneness; our ethical integrity is founded on a sense of right and wrong.

I believe Official Secrets, especially the remarkable remaking of the character of the extraordinary Katharine Gun by Keira Knightley, inspired its viewers, in this case, our medical students, on critical thinking, humaneness, and morality – courage to be genuine in the face of ubiquitous disinformation, dishonesty, and subdued conformity. It was clear at the post-screening discussion that the students had been able to grasp that Katharine Gun tried to swim upstream, only because that was the right direction for her, and she finally did.

How the world operates – how powerful countries use and abuse smaller countries to their advantage, how morality, justice and humanness are the first victims of international politics and modern diplomacy, how wars are waged when no war was necessary or even legal in the first place, were bitter truths we all were able to comprehend that wonderful evening. As Edward Snowden says, the “whole system revolves around the idea that the majority can be made to believe 𝐚𝐧𝐲𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠, so long as it is repeated loudly and often… And it works.”

Perhaps, we can change it.

Mahesh Rajasuriya

Further viewing recommended:

  1. JFK (1991)
  2. Capitalism: A Love Story (2009)
  3. The Coming War on China (2016)
  4. Snowden (2016)
  5. Social Dilemma (2020)

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