Mr. Jones @ TIFF

Over the past couple of years journalism has taken a serious hit. No one really trusts the media anymore. It is not an honourable profession in many people’s minds. We don’t believe anything they say. Believe they are making things up. Trying to sell papers or get clicks. There was a time where newspapers and the media were looked at for answers. As people who got to the truth and then told the public what it was.

Such a time was pre World War II. People around the globe needed answers. They had already been through one horrific world conflict and were on the verge of another. Facism was taking control in Germany and Italy. Communism was on the rise in the Soviet Union under Stalin. The world was in flux. Future looked uncertain. Just like today people wanted reassurance. But there wasn’t much of that to go around.

What one journalist finds is an international conspiracy. He tries to tell the world about it, but is shut down for different reasons. Formerly Welshman Gareth Jones (James Norton – Little Women – 2019, Belle) worked for British diplomat Lloyd George (Kenneith Cranham – Valkyrie, Layer Cake) and now is freelancing as a journalist.

He is not going just after any story, but a big one. One concerning a famine in the Ukraine. A famine which he suspects is man made. Horrific things happening. Millions dying. He risks his own life to get the story. When he does get proof people try their darndest to shut him up.

Propaganda. The Nazis used it to their benefit. It is a powerful weapon. In times in between war as well. A great illustration of that happens during Agnieszka Holland’s (directed episodes of The Wire and The Killing) film. If word about the famine and its particular details got out it would hurt those seeking power. The truth was repressed. Lost out. As a result more humans died.

Sometimes we are not ready for the truth. This shows how the West turned their back on the people of Ukraine. Before they turned their backs on the Jews of Europe. Humanity has large patches of dark history over the centuries. This is a story which not many people know and it is long past due being told.

Powerful messages here. Messages which are important to hear today. At all times. Unfortunately it is not the type of film which many people will see. The average moviegoer will see it as too slow. Too long and too British. Meaning that there is not much action and a focus on either periods of dialogue or silence.

Well acted, especially Norton, written and directed.

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