Liberté: A Call to Spy Image

Of course, there are plenty of men in the cast too — Linus Roache plays the head of the spy unit, Maurice Buckmaster, and there are male spies and resistance fighters too.  But the focus here is solidly on the women and the unique challenges they faced, and rightly so. It is their story that hasn’t been told, and the challenges they faced were unique.  

The script of Liberté is tight, and the direction is solid.  We always know the stakes, we know the backstories of the characters, and when we get to big emotional moments, they are well earned.  The action moves the plot right along, and every scene serves a function. My main regret is that a single feature film is not enough to tell all these stories properly.  After seeing the film, I went and looked up the true stories of some of the women, and they did so much more than could fit into the movie. This is the kind of material that is just screaming out for a series on a streaming service.

“…an important, compelling story that had to be told.”

The acting is solid throughout, but I particularly want to single out Stana Katic.  She just draws you in, and you can see the internal struggles she’s going through even when they aren’t explicitly stated.  There’s an argument to be made that she should have been cast in the lead role because she’s just so strong, and looks a bit more like Virginia Hall than Sarah Megan Thomas.  At the same time, it is hard to fault Sarah Megan Thomas for taking the lead role herself — she almost single-handedly willed the movie into existence.

The bottom line is that Liberté: A Call to Spy is an important, compelling story that had to be told.  Through determination and grit, Sarah Megan Thomas wrote the script, found the people, and raised the money to get the story told in a compelling way.  See the film. You’ll want to know more.  

Liberté: A Call to Spy made its US premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, where it won the Anti Defamation League Stand Up award. 

Liberté: A Call to Spy (2020)

Directed: Lydia Dean Pilcher

Written: Sarah Megan Thomas

Starring: Sarah Megan Thomas, Stania Katic, Radika Apte, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Liberté: A Call to Spy Image

"…"...Noor Inayat Kahn—the first female wireless operator, and first British Muslim war hero...""

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  1. Jacki Gansch says:

    I have been writing to production studios, especially those owned by women, for years about doing films on these extraordinary women. You asked why more films haven’t been made about the women of the SOE, and I believe it’s because the files of the SOE were just opened up a few years back. Although, there were a few movies made over the years. Most notably, a British series called Wish Me Luck which was a character compilation and a distilled version of the actual events. Not bad, for what it was – a made for tv series made between 1988 and the early 90’s. But a fictional version when the reality would have been so much better.

    I do wish a series would be made about Vera Atkins and F-Section. After reading so many books and articles, my belief is that Vera worked with the enemy in order to get her brother’s family released. Not throughout the war; just long enough to assure their safety. But her actions compromised the Allies. I also believe that Francis Suttill (code name Prosper), who was the leader of the F-section Prosper Network, was ordered to scuttle the network and sacrifice the operatives as a diversion for Operation Overlord.

    Lots of intriguing stuff to investigate via many different films A recent film about Noor Inyat Khan was a very abridged version about a fascinating young woman of immense courage who was tortured beyond recognition for months and never broke. Her life should be told in its entirety, brief as it was.

    Anyway, I could write a book myself at this point. I just wanted to thank you for your piece and your opinions. I hope the dam bursts and we are flooded with movies and documentaries about the women saboteurs who helped win the war. There were 39 women in France alone, one in three of whom were murdered by the Gestapo. The men of the SOE lost one in four. And they knew going in that their would most certainly be lost or shortened.

  2. George B Snow says:

    I am eagerly awaiting this film. I love WWII films, and Ms Katic is an amazing actress! This is a subject that I feel has been overlooked for far too long, and redress is due. I will definitely be adding this film to my library of films as soon as it comes out on DVD!

  3. LInda Delsing says:

    I am such a fan of Stana Katic and know the indie work of her’s in For Lovers Only. Her Kate Beckett let us know what a strong beautiful woman is on Castle.

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