Garbo: The Spy
A compelling account of Juan Pujol, an extraordinary Spanish double agent during WWII who helped change the course of history.
Form following content, interestingly if not necessarily successfully. Loved the idea of breaking doc convention by throwing us into the middle of information, some “real” (archival footage), some “fake” (clips from WWII-era narrative fiction films), teasing the actual story until a good way into the doc. Additionally, talking heads just start talking, and their relation to the story (history professor, actual spy, etc.) isn’t stated on camera until maybe halfway through.
I like the parallel to the actual craft of discerning truth from fiction, figuring out whom you can trust, etc. But it’s possible it was too clever a device for its own good, obscuring a story that’s compelling enough on its own with stylistic gamesmanship that made it more confusing than it had to be. Or maybe it was just a bad idea watching this late at night after a bad night’s sleep the night before. I nodded off a lot. I would have made a terrible covert agent.
I can't believe I've never heard this story before! Great documentary.