A Compassionate Spy
Director: Steve James Run Time: 102 min. Release Year: 2022
Starring: Joan Hall, Theodore Hall
Producer Dave Lindorff and Production Assistance Joyce Lindorff in Attendance
Directed by two-time Oscar nominated filmmaker Steve James (HOOP DREAMS, LIFE ITSELF), A COMPASSIONATE SPY is a gripping real-life spy thriller about controversial Manhattan Project physicist Ted Hall, who infamously provided nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union, told through the perspective of his loving wife Joan, who protected his secret for decades.
Recruited in 1944 as an 18-year-old Harvard undergraduate to help Robert Oppenheimer and his team create a bomb, Hall was the youngest physicist on the Manhattan Project, and didn’t share his colleagues’ elation after the successful detonation of the world’s first atomic bomb. Concerned that a U.S. post-war monopoly on such a powerful weapon could lead to nuclear catastrophe, Hall began passing key information about the bomb’s construction to the Soviet Union. After the war, he met, fell in love with, and married Joan, a fellow student with whom he shared a passion for classical music and socialist causes—and the explosive secret of his espionage. The pair raised a family while living under a cloud of suspicion and years of FBI surveillance and intimidation.
A COMPASSIONATE SPY reveals the twists and turns of this real-life spy story, its profound impact on nuclear history, and the couple’s remarkable love and life together during more than 50 years of marriage.
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