Ideas navigate the world, and good ideas are hard to stop.

Because they are contagious, stimulating and invisible.

Packed into a novel or a film, they fuel imagination and curiosity.

We want to know what's next.

That stories have the power to change the course of history can be studied anew in the adventurous Operation Mincemeat.

It is considered one of the most momentous deceptions in modern military strategy.

It was set in motion by the English Secret Service during World War II - with the help of a man who never lived.

Sandra Kegel

Responsible editor for the feuilleton.

  • Follow I follow

The film adaptation of this sometimes cheerfully told episode in London in 1943 traumatized by visions of doom, which is being released in German cinemas under the title "The Deception" now that war is raging again in Europe, is next to the historically factual reconstruction, which without visual surprises, a tribute to the power of imagination.

"Every story has two sides, the one we see and the one that remains hidden," says the narrator in the film.

And this young man in the twilight, played by Johnny Flynn, only appears in a supporting role, but it has a big name: Ian Fleming.

The plan was as ingenious as it was illegal

The James Bond inventor was known to be an officer in naval intelligence before he wrote his 007 fictions.

And he was directly involved in Operation Mincemeat.

But he was not in charge.

They were two eccentrics, legendary in England since then, Charles Cholmondeley and Ewen Montagu, who had no qualms about taking the corpse of a homeless man, Adolf Hitler, for their story, which was addressed to a single reader, in order to give him a new identity provide.

Their plan was as ingenious as it was illegal, which is why Montagu kept the dead man's name secret in his 1954 book on Operation Mincemeat, and the early 1956 film adaptation was still deliberately misleading out of caution.

Again and again, Sebastian Blenkov's camera follows the thoroughly British protagonists Montagu and Cholmondeley into the London basement, where the agents stage their confusion, which is intended to do nothing less than break Hitler's power in Europe.

Poetic experiments with the corpse

Colin Firth, whose timeless facial features seem to have always predestined him for historical roles, plays Montagu as a man with two faces: dutiful in the service of the fatherland, at the same time driven by longing and melancholy and also prone to amorous entanglements due to a troubled marriage .

If Firth frowns a little too often or sighs down the street and Matthew Macfadyen, in the role of the pragmatic Cholmondeley, tries too hard to appear as a Montagu antipode, both loving the same woman (Kelly Macdonald), that's only forgivable because the In any case, no actor has the main role in the film, but it is the story itself that towers over everything here.

The creativity, which requires a lot of sweat and sometimes tears from those who are unfamiliar with telling fairy tales, soon allows the agents to mix reality with fiction.

The film cannot get enough of the poetic experiments with the corpse, which is to be prepared fictionally: how the spies not only the lifeless body, which one day is supposed to be stranded on the coast of Spain and is supposed to provide the Germans in its luggage with false information breathe a believable life, but also a convincing death.

Only then can the improbable plan of Berlin falling for the lie and actually believing that the Allied troops would not want to conquer Europe via Sicily in 1943, but via Greece, can work.

Keywords: