Harrogate Film Festival's coup with movie premiere about ex-British Army intelligence officer and psychological warfare

The Harrogate Odeon is to host the British premiere of a new film about one of the most troubling and complex stories of The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 5:17 pm
Updated Friday, 14th May 2021, 5:26 pm
New documentary  - Colin Wallace, a former Senior Information Officer at the Ministry of Defence  who specialised in psychological warfare during The Troubles in Northern Ireland.
New documentary - Colin Wallace, a former Senior Information Officer at the Ministry of Defence who specialised in psychological warfare during The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

A joint special event between Harrogate Film Society and Harrogate Film Festival, the screening of The Man Who Knew Too Much is a major coup for the town’s movie community.

This gripping fact-based new documentary by filmmaker Michael Oswald gives a unique insight into the curious life of Colin Wallace, a former Senior Information Officer at the Ministry of Defence who specialised in psychological warfare and black propoganda in an era before the concept of fake news had been invented.

As part of his work in the violent world of Northern Ireland in the 1970s, Colin Wallace spread fake news, created a witchcraft scare, smeared politicians and attempted to divide and create conflict amongst communities, organisations and individuals.

But Wallace fell out with sections of the British intelligence community, he was framed for a murder and sentenced to ten years in prison.

Fifteen years after his conviction, the sentence was quashed on appeal in 1996 after the coroner said his initial report had been influenced by a member of the intelligence community.

The Man Who Knew Too Much, which will be screened at the Harrogate Odeon at 7.30pm on Thursday, May 27 boasts exclusive interviews with the notoriously reclusive and cautious Wallace, who says “people realize that the full truth hasn’t come out and although authorities think they may have been clever and believable to dodge around the issue the public have a totally different view.”

The filmmaker, himself, Michael Oswald, said: “Colin Wallace is an anti-hero, and that is what makes him and this film so fascinating.”

Closer at hand, another exciting joint presentation between Harrogate Film Society and Harrogate Film Festival will see a rare screening on Monday, May 24 at 7.30pm of one of the finest films of the 20th century. Italian filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1970 masterpiece The Conformist.

Showing at Harrogate Odeon which, like Everyman cinema reopens in the town next week after lockdown, this visually stunning, intriguing, influential and beautiful The Conformist looks as fresh today as it did when first shown 50 years ago - and the politics still resonate as strongly.

Starring Jean-Louis Trintignant as member of the secret police in Mussolini’s Fascist Italy, it’s a remarkably evocative picture of Italy between the wars, telling the story of a weak-willed man ordered to arrange the assassination of his old teacher, now a political dissident.

Tickets for both films are available now at www.harrogatefilm.co.uk/events.

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