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Garbo, the Man Who saved the World

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by Edmon Roch

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A compelling, gracefully told account of an extraordinary Spanish double agent during WWII who helped change the course of history. Helmer Edmon Roch could easily have sat back and let this ripping yarn tell itself. Instead, he creates a dazzling mixture of feature film and archival footage, interviews and music, which beautifully underscores the documentary’s theme of the shifting border between truth and falsehood. In 1940, Juan Pujol offered his services to the British as a spy against the Nazis but was rejected. Instead, he set himself up as a German agent, operating out of Lisbon but pretending to the Nazis that he was based in London. The peak of his career came in 1944, when he succeeded in diverting German defense forces to Calais while the Allied landings were taking place in Normandy, thus averting considerable bloodshed.

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