October 21, 2021 3:21 pm
Little-known WWII spy story debut in U.S. this week

Little-known WWII spy story debut in U.S. this week

Noor Inayat Khan, a British Muslim woman who was the first female radio espionage operator infiltrated into Nazi-occupied France during the Second World War, is about to get her 17 minutes of fame.

Friday’s premiere will be at a Los Angeles movie theater. This is the little-known story about Ms. Khan ,, who was executed at Dachau concentration camp.

Though offered evacuation from Paris when her espionage network collapsed, Ms. Khan chose to stay and transmit information to Britain’s Special Operations Executive, a secret British force sometimes called “Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.”

The 17-minute short film “Liberte,” which takes its name from the spy’s reported last word, is the brainchild of Sam Naz, a journalist-turned-filmmaker of Pakistani descent who grew up in Birmingham, England.

Filmed during the COVID-19 lockdowns in Britain last year, the project stars Ms. Naz, 41, whose regular job is as a news anchor at SkyNews, the country’s leading cable news channel. Speaking with The Washington Times from London, Ms. Naz said she‘d first learned of the spy from a newspaper article more than a decade ago.

” I was stunned. How can I not know this story? she asked. “I grew up in Britain, and so I kind of got very obsessed with her story.”

Not only was Ms. Khan a dogged agent seeking to help the Allied cause and liberate France, she never “cracked” under intense interrogation by the Nazis. her captors knew her only as “Agent Madeline” until her death.

Ms. Naz revealed her true identity after the war.

Ms. Naz described Khan to have “had everything going for her ..” She had a background as a musician. She worked as a journalist for children, hoping to start a magazine. She was a children’s writer who wanted to launch a magazine.

Reporter and researcher. Naz started her job digging up stories for BBC Newsround — the journalist got to work.

I went down to National Archives on and off over [the]years and just revisited this story in different ways because I just wanted “to find out more” about Ms. Khan . To be honest .”

Ms. Naz came up with enough material to make a feature-length movie, but it was not financially feasible. She said Ms. Khan, whose younger years in Paris imparted a love for France and a desire to see it liberated from the Nazis, hasn’t been as widely disseminated as she believes it should be.

Her character does appear in various places,” Ms. Naz said. “There was a ‘Doctor Who’ episode, there were various docudramas about the various characters of that time who went into occupied France, but, no, she’s never been sent the central character” of any production until now.

Ms. stated that she had researched the story of Ms. Khan ‘ and wrote the film. was able to take on the role of the spy and martyr in this drama.

I had looked into her a lot, and I’ve also looked into different elements her lives,” Ms. Naz stated. “I felt so close her that it was hard to believe. I thought, “Well, I want this and I will do it as best I can

.” The film also features Oliver Boot (“John Carter,” “Distant Shores”) playing Hans Josef Kieffer, a Nazi intelligence chief. Christopher Hanvey, who directed and co-produced the film with Ms. Naz, is the creative executive at Anarchy! Inc., the production house distributing “Liberte.”

He is also Ms. Naz’s fiancee, a relationship that allowed the two a means of working together during strict lockdown rules in Britain last year.

After the one-week run at Los Angeles’ Lammele Theatre, Ms. Naz stated she hopes that it will be screened in London, and then made available online via streaming services or directly.

We want to reach as many people as possible,” stated.

Zia Inayat Khan, a nephew of the martyred agent who lives in Richmond, Virginia, said in a statement the film “offers a glimpse of Noor‘s heroism that is both awe-inspiring and heart-wrenching.”

Ms. Naz said she‘s also developing a miniseries on the heroic women of the Special Operations Executive, known by its initials of “SOE.”

She says she wants to “pursue screenwriting and drama” as well as “acting going forward.”

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