Tracking Edith

Writer and documentary filmmaker Peter Stephan Jungk tells the story of the fascinating life of his great-aunt Edith Tudor-Hart, born Suschitzky in 1908 Vienna. His quest takes him to Dessau, Germany, where Edith studied art at the Bauhaus after training to be a kindergarten teacher with Maria Montessori in London; to Scotland, where curator Duncan Forbes discusses her artful and socially conscious photographs; and to Moscow, to search Soviet archives. Both Edith's open support of leftist causes and her spy activities, conveying Western atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, limited her success as a photographer, despite her obvious talent. Her life was marked by a short-lived marriage, her only son's mental illness and tumultuous love affairs, including one with her son's renowned psychiatrist, Donald Winnicott. Abandonment by that lover and the constant pressure of MI5 surveillance contributed to her 1952 nervous breakdown and move to Brighton, England, where she owned an antique store until her death. Edith's family's discovery of her identity as a spy propels this quest, illustrated seamlessly by both animation and Edith's own beautifully composed Rolleiflex photos. In his own confession of espionage in 1964, Anthony Blunt labeled Edith "the grandmother of us all," referring to the Cambridge Five, of which MI5's Kim Philby, recruited by Edith as a double agent, was a member. –Sara L. Rubin

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Schedule

Director(s)
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w/English Subtitle
Release Year
Festival Year
Running Time
91
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