WEEK IN WOMEN: Keira Knightley talks OFFICIAL SECRETS – Brandy McDonnell reports

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Keira Knightley is portraying Katharine Gun, a real-life Iraq War whistle-blower, in the political thriller Official Secrets, opening August 30 in the United States and in October in the U.K.

In the early 2000s, Gun was a translator at the British government’s communications headquarters, and while there, she leaked a confidential United States National Security Agency email exposing illegal activities to a British newspaper.

The memo proved that the U.K. and U.S. governments were in collusion over spying on countries that were wavering in their support for the Iraq War. Gun confessed and was subsequently arrested and charged under the Official Secrets Act after the information hit the front pages of newspapers.

Although she was a politically engaged 18-year-old at the time of the Iraq War, Knightley told the AP she had no memory of Gun’s story.

“I was sort of fascinated that either I’d forgotten, or I’d never known about Katharine Gun and I’d never known about this memo. So, I felt like, you know, just as far as kind of a historical piece in sort of shedding light on that, the lead up to that conflict, I thought it was a very important story to tell,” she said. Continue reading on THE WEEK IN WOMEN.

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Brandy McDonnell

Brandy McDonnell writes features and reviews movies, music, events and the arts for The Oklahoman, Oklahoma's statewide newspaper, and NewsOK.com, the state's largest news Web site. Raised on a farm near Lindsay, Okla., she started her journalism career in seventh grade, when she was elected reporter for her school's 4-H Club. Taking her duties seriously, she began submitting stories to The Lindsay News, and worked for the local weekly through high school. She attended Oklahoma State University, where she worked for The Daily O'Collegian and earned her journalism degree with honors. She worked for three years at small Oklahoma dailies The Edmond Sun and Shawnee News-Star. In 2002, she joined The Oklahoman as a features reporter, writing about movies, the arts, events, families and nonprofits. She moved to The Oklahoman's entertainment desk in 2007. In 2004, she won a prestigious Journalism Fellowship in Child & Family Policy from the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Along with her membership in AWFJ, she also is a founding member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle. Brandy writes The Week In Women blog for AWFJ.org.