The physic student Joan Stanley (Judi Dench) from Cambridge changed the course of history when she provided classified scientific information—including details on the building of the atomic bomb—to the Soviet government for decades. It wasn’t until more than fifty years later the secret service arrested her in the age of eighty years old.
She claims on her defense that she did it to make peace. The movie shows us Joans love affair with a dashing political radical communist (Tom Hughes) who she shared the information. We never really know if it was for love or peace.
The movie has an interesting point of view to create an understanding of why Joan “betrayed” her country. The narrative is based on Joan’s life story with the struggle political views, love, duty, courage and betrayal. The film tries its best to show the audience why she could build the worlds most dangerous weapons that killed millions of people in Japan and then make a decision to share to Russia.
The question is why this British movie is building a narrative that defends one of the biggest betrayals towards there own country. Perhaps they wanted to show a story that supports their lack of action to protect the information to spread. Joan not just betrayed Brittain, she also put the United State and the rest of Europe in a harder position of defeating a horrible dictator (Stalin) in the Soviet Union. However, no more atomic bomb has been activated ever since the attack towards Japan and no state is much more potent than another. was this a peaceful choose?
Red Joan “changed the course of history.”