Garbo: El espía
Spain, 2009, 87 minutes
Sun, May 02 / 9:30 / Kabuki / GARB02K
Mon, May 03 / 3:45 / Kabuki / GARB03K
Tue, May 04 / 3:30 / Clay / GARB04Y
Thu, May 06 / 8:00 / Kabuki / GARB06K
The Nazis called him Alaric. The British called him Garbo. Born in Spain, Juan Pujol (his true name) was one of the most successful double agents in history, responsible for perpetrating the greatest fraud of the Second World War and helping make possible the D-Day landings. Garbo the spy successfully worked for both the Allies and the Third Reich partly due to the credibility he earned through his impressive knowledge of classified information—information he accounted for with reference to a web of 27 fictitious subagents, supposedly under his command. Honored as a hero on both sides at the end of the war, Pujol subsequently disappeared. Rumor had it he died in 1949 after contracting malaria in Angola—until he was discovered more than 30 years later living a new life, yet again, in Venezuela. Telling the incredible story of this secret agent, who British Intelligence named Garbo for being the “greatest actor in the world,” director Edmon Roch relies on a collection of eloquent interviews that fluidly guide the viewer through the many lives of a true master at the art of deception. Imaginatively mixing these with archival footage and excerpts from spy films to create a suspenseful and witty tone, Roch constructs a narrative that not only deciphers a fascinatingly complex character but ultimately implicates the documentary process itself in its analysis of the truths to be won from a canny mixture of facts and fictions.