Blackwattle Films

Sydney Australia

I, SPRY - The Rise & Fall of a Master Spy

With a nuclear arms race set to escalate the Cold War, Prime Minister Menzies appoints Colonel Charles Spry to take charge of the fledgling Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, ASIO. The staunchly anti-communist, fifth-generation soldier recruits new officers to fight a covert war against a cunning enemy. Their primary task is to investigate Australians spying for the Soviets and infiltrate Communist Party branches with undercover agents.

 

The sensational 1954 defections of Soviet Embassy officials, Vladimir and Evdokia Petrov, deliver Spry a great intelligence victory. But when a former ASIO officer appears in surveillance photographs and major counter-espionage cases begin to fail, Spry soon finds himself in a place spies call the ‘wilderness of mirrors’. Security threats appear to be everywhere – from the highest office in the land to within ASIO itself.

AWARDS

Winner 2010 Australian Cinematographers’ Society (NSW) Gold Award for Dramatised Documentary, Calvin Gardiner ACS.

Finalist: 2011 Atom Awards

WHAT THE CRITICS SAID

A beautifully atmospheric romp through the early years of ASIO when the Cold War was picking up pace and the communist threat was everywhere. 
Nick Galvin, SMH The Guide

 

Few directors are so astutely able to dramatise crucial moments of change in our social narrative with such cinematic verve. 
Graeme Blundell, Review, The Australian.

 

They say the past is this moment escaping, but there are elements of our recent history that seem to have escaped diligent analysis and this docu-drama from producer-writer-director Peter Butt rectifies the oversight.