Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Back To Harry Palmer

So lets go back to the Ipcress File.

British movie. 1965. Based on a novel by Len Deighton. Stylishly directed by Sidney J Furie. Starring Michael Caine.

British scientists are being nobbled by a foreign power which we have to assume means the USSR. At the end Harry Palmer- who has been played for a sucker by both sides- has two men in his sights; one of whom is a traitor.

But the thing is there's nothing to choose between them- morally speaking. They are hollow men- unfeeling, arrogant, sociopathic. If one dies and the other lives it may be chalked up as a win to our side but it won't represent any victory for humanity.

And this is the world we're being asked to defend and think in terms of- when even at the time (see the work of John le Carre too) it was clear that it was rotten.

At least back then there were (pretty threadbare) ideological reasons for the world being divided into armed camps. Now it's about nothing but power.

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